On the Floor at the Boutique
Lo Fidelity Allstars
by Chad Beck
In my mind the Lo Fidelity Allstars put on the best show Fort Wayne had a chance to see in 1999. It was a wonderful night of break-beats, psychedelic groove and turntable bliss out at Piere's, and I truly feel bad for all who missed it. By disregarding any rules previously set up by the hip-hop/electronic world, the Lo Fidelity Allstars link song after song in an inexplicable transcendent energy. Although Fatboy Slim may be electronica's biggest name, the Allstars are the genre's most promising act. How To Operate With A Blown Mind is still a mind-numbingly good electronic album two years after it's release, and On The Floor At The Boutique is ample evidence that the group has plenty more to offer. Released to celebrate the third birthday of the world-renown dance club known as "The Boutique," On The Floor bristles with funkified beats guaranteed to get the dullest of parties up and moving. The Boutique has branches in Berlin, London, New York and Dublin and as regular DJs at these clubs, the Allstars are known to set the night on fire with sets that combine all the classic old-school hip-hoppers with the newest in big-beat electronica. The 21 tracks (73 minutes) found here serve not only as a testament to the sweaty and insane parties that accompany this music, but as a practical lesson in the history of hip-hop.
The Allstars achieve this feat by mixing up classic tracks dating back to '82 (like the Sugarhill Gang's "Pump Me Up") with the newest acid-house of groups like Super Collider and the Space Raiders. Hearing classics from legends like KRS-One infused with rocking, genre-trashing new artists like Dirt and Les Rythmes Digitales is a riot, and strangely addictive. There is hardly a moment during On The Floor where the hallucinogenic energy lets up and, by the end, the Allstars will have you craving more. Their recipe is an intoxicating mix of fascinating vocal deliveries and Godzilla-sized beats which are used with surgical precision, all in the name of a good time. Last year's DJ remix offering by the Prodigy (The Dirtchamber Sessions; Volume 1) is a great predecessor to On The Floor, but the DJs from the Allstars seem to be much more well-rounded in true hip-hop. This album is a must have for anyone looking to liven up their own dance-floor this summer, whether that be in a sweaty nightclub or in your backyard.
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