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The Trip - Compiled by Joey Negro

The Trip, compiled by Joey Negro

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3 out of 5

FANS of musical compilation franchise The Trip are in for a double treat this week, given that there are two new releases. Jarvis Cocker and Steve Mackey are certain to draw the biggest interest but Joey Negro’s selection also provides a compelling mix of the familiar and the obscure.

Negro is also known as Dave Lee, a legend in the British dance scene, and a man with more aliases than toes. He has been making music for the best part of two decades and justifiably continues to be widely regarded as one of the founding heroes of the international dance music scene.

As well as critical and commercial success under the aliases Jakatta, Sessomatto, Raven Maize and The Sunburst Band, Dave has produced and remixed an array of stars including Lionel Ritchie, Mariah Carey and Seal. It is this depth and breadth of musical talent that makes this mix so very special.

Highlights of this double-CD mix include cinematic moments such as John Barry’s 007 And Counting, which trades well on the familiar James Bond theme, and Georgio Moroder’s The Chase. Negro has an uncanny habit of easing one track into the next, so that CD1 kicks off with Barry’s 007 instrumental, before easing into the smooth vocals of Nancy Wilson for Call Me and then Laurie Johnson’s fun and instantly recognisable Theme From The Avengers.

It means that the CD gets off to a lively, borderline familiar feel that keeps you on your toes from the outset. Needless to say, Negro’s dance background features prominently, with several nods to his aliases throughout. His Dave Lee alter-ego gets an early workout on the club-orientated You’re Not Alone, featuring Ann Saunderson, while the Jakatta track Inside Life book-ends CD2.

The dance vibe is also present throughout, mixing a distinctly 80s sound on CD1 with a more 70s kind of feel on CD2. Tracks like Arpadys’ boogy-laden, Monkey Star blending seamlessly into the Euro sound of Metro Area’s Atmospherique on the first CD, while Mr Miami Vice himself, Jan Hammer, drops Don’t You Know to underline the 80s drive.

CD2 shuffles its way through the disco party feel of club sounds from Soul Etico (Two Hearts Together) and Kool & The Gang (Whisper Softly) to Omar’s soulful Music and Incognito’s I Can See The Future.

For me, though, the compilation works best when following familiar cuts such as Divine Comedy’s National Express or Dusty Springfield’s Nothing Has Been Proved (her collaboration with Neil Tennant from the Scandal soundtrack), with lesser-known efforts such as Double’s Captain of the Heart.

Of the highlights on the second CD, there’s the out-and-out funk of Gordon Staples’ 70s-rooted Strung Out and Glenn Miller’s timeless, classic Moonlight Serenade to keep an eye out for – although the best tracks are arguably reserved for CD1.

Not everything about Negro’s mix works but dance fans who already follow this super-producer will doubtless want to journey inside the musical mind of this key dance maestro.

Track listing:
Disc 1:

  1. 007 And Counting – Barry, John (1)
  2. Call Me – Wilson, Nancy (1)
  3. Avengers – Johnson, Laurie
  4. National Express – Divine Comedy
  5. Ride Like The Wind – Cross, Christopher
  6. Lust – Rinder, Laurin & Michael Lewis
  7. You’re Not Alone – Lee, Dave
  8. Chase – Moroder, Giorgio
  9. Prime Time – Tubes
  10. Monkey Star – Arpadys
  11. Far Beyond – Sunburst Band
  12. Atmospherique – Metro Area
  13. Adventures In Success – Powers, Will
  14. Entity – Mr. Marvin
  15. Captain Of Her Heart – Double (1)
  16. Don’t You Know – Hammer, Jan
  17. Magic Smile – Vela, Rosie
  18. Duel – Propaganda (1)
  19. Song For A Future Generation – B-52’s

Disc 2:

  1. Inside Life – Jakatta
  2. Living In The Past – Jethro Tull
  3. Love Music – Mendes, Sergio
  4. It’s All Because Of You – Dells
  5. Strung Out – Staples, Gordon
  6. Funky Luvah – Creative Source
  7. Do You Have Any – La Pamplemousse
  8. Two Hearts Together – Soul Etico
  9. Whisper Softly – Kool & The Gang
  10. It Ain’t Love – Patterson, Rahsaan
  11. Free – Seawind
  12. Music – Omar (1)
  13. Next Lifetime – Badu, Erykah
  14. Highways Of My Life – Isley Brothers
  15. Rush Over – Miller, Marcus & Me’Shell Ndegeocello
  16. I Can See The Future – Incognito
  17. So Nobody Else Can Hear – Cobb, Jimmy
  18. Moonlight Serenade – Miller, Glenn (1)
  19. Inside Life – Jakatta