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Kevin Saunderson

KS02 (TrusttheDJ.com)

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As a DJ, Kevin Saunderson's notoriety possesses an exasperating duality. The younger generation of techno devotees know his name, and they know that alongside Derrick May and Juan Atkins, Saunderson practically invented the genre. What few of these self-styled acolytes know, however, is what Saunderson actually sounds like. Maybe that's because Saunderson doesn't tour that often, or because he doesn't release the obligatory perennial mix CDs that jocks like Ben Sims, Adam Beyer, and Christian Smith churn out. This, presumably, is why Saunderson has released the KS02 mix disc: to set the record straight.

KS02 starts with deep, Yoshitoshi-esque vocal house grooves, then gradually picks up speed and intensity, saving the heavy stuff for last. Unfortunately, most of the highlights don't come until KS02's climactic end, with Saunderson's quick cuts between the Billy Lo mix of DJ Rhythm's "I'm in Love" and Bryan Zentz's "D-Clash," and in the well-phrased transition from the former cut to the latter. Too bad bright spots like these do little more than make up for the drawn-out transitions near the beginning of the album, during which Saunderson leaves us without bass lines, stabs, or vocal melodies, and loses his momentum in the process.

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