Continuing my current run of Ministry CD’s this time its time to look at the latest Cream compilation. Taking its nom de plume from the legendary superclub of yore this is the latest triple compilation of Cream friendly tracks that summarises what 2006 has been about so far.
Or that’s the general idea anyway, the mix market is a competitive one (hell, I’ve covered two compilations from the same label already this week) but in Cream’s favour it has a strong name behind it but can the material under the hood live up to the hype it emblazons across its sleeve.
Well it starts off predictably enough, there is after all no avoiding some of the more chart friendly offerings that are making big noises on dance floors this year. Needless to say the Tocadisco reworking of Walking Away and Supermode’s Bronski Beat retread of Tell Me Why are all present and correct. But I daresay if you checked out any compilation even in the remotest corner of this ballpark then you would find those two in contention for inclusion.
For now that’s a fair enough opening gambit but if I’m going to be honest this compilation takes a hell of a long time to get moving when you sit it alongside its contemporaries. Sure on disc one there are journeyman detours through the likes of Mylo’s Musclecar but after that the engine starts to run a little rough and is in serious danger of stalling. Over reliance on tracks by the likes of Fedde Le Grand simply don’t work well enough for me to shore up the midsection of a disc like this but thankfully there are brief shots of salvation offered by the likes of Roger Sanchez’s followed in quick succession by Martijn Ten Veld’s I Wish You Would which entertains with its monotone “begging girlfriend” vocal. Then there is Chris Lake’s Release which is a good tune for sustaining interest (but then he does have a knack with a bassline after all). Some tracks however just seem woefully out of place. X Press 2’s Kill 100 might just be a brooding little vocal number but it just seems that bit cerebral in the company it keeps, and as a result it seems to knock a pace that is already starting to struggle. There’s a nice closer on the first CD though in the form of L.O.V.E’s We Should Fall In Love that is a sweet enough especially in its Ben Macklin remixed form.
The second disc kicks off with a couple of Freemasons mixes including a reworking of Fatboy Slim’s Right Here, Right Now. Almost unrecognisable with its rubber ball bass and deeply buried samples. It’s a reasonably sturdy opener but sadly like the rest of this disc is nothing to get overly excited about. If anything you get an early impression that this is going to be a bit of a funky house disc but the direction changes with Tom Novy’s sparse Take It (disappointing, so far his mixes have impressed maybe I need to hear this one “out of this context”). The momentum is once again at risk but there are some occasional peaks to be found though. Fonzorelli’s Moonlight Party has a little bit of presence about it and Switch’s A Bit Patchy does serve to alleviate the creeping onset of tedium. The real highlight though is the absolutely gorgeous Leaving London by Team SR, but sadly after this the mix does fall somewhat squarely on its arse.
The third disc works as something of a redemption shot for the sins of its precursors. Going for the safe option of chucking well known commodities at the listener with all the big guns in the armoury blazing, I was left thinking better late than never. The names are all here, Groove Armada, Leftfield, Prodigy, Soulwax and Royksopp (all of them Creamfields illuminati). This is potentially the strongest disc of the set and it’s relying on tracks that are by no means the freshest thing out of the box (more timeless than anything else).
Sadly a corking third disc does not a solid collection make. Out of the material I’ve been checking out this week this is by far the weakest offering. Alas there are too many lulls between the odd bright spots of excitement in the mix and therefore I think any potential punters for this type of material might be better served elsewhere.