VA: Global Underground 10
Global Underground

Celebrating ten years of operation, Global Underground 10 spreads 61 tracks across three CDs, making for one ridiculously comprehensive label overview. It's a relentlessly pulsating, three-hour colossus of euphoric club anthems, with disc three's mix—28 tracks from the last 20 years—taking the idea to the extreme. The material is generally user-friendly and populist, with Underworld's “Two Months Off” and Albion's “Air” indicative of the set's occasional trance leanings. Consequently, cuts that deviate, like Marcus Schultz's drum & bass-flavoured mix of Fatboy Slim's “Bird of Prey,” Hybrid's Knopfleresque “Theme From Wide Angle,” and Felix da Housecat's string-laden synthpop treatment of “Silverscreen (Thin White Juke remix),” sound all the more appealing for doing so. Issues of style hardly seem relevant, though, when blazing stormers like Cass & Slide's “Perception,” Lostep's “The Roots,” and Danny Tenaglia's “Turn Me On (Bedrock Mix)” drop, and when soulful vocal hooks and grooving bass lines make mainstream cuts like The Beloved's “Your Love Takes Me Higher (Chillum Willum Mix)” so hard to resist.

It's only natural that middling moments emerge within a collection of such magnitude: squiggly synths in Alex Dolby's “Psiko Garden,” for instance, verge on cheesy and some of the more generic trance cuts flirt with banality. In truth, the set is so vast a listener braving an entire listen likely will be overwhelmed by its plenitude and, at that juncture, tracks begin to blend into an indistinguishable mass—better, then, to digest it one disc at a time. Regardless, anyone wanting to know what Global Undergound's all about obviously need look no further.

August 2006