Those who think dance music has lost its edge in recent years should take heart from this exciting, vibrant and versatile debut album from Essex producer/DJs The Count & Sinden. Mega Mega Mega recalls the golden era of Basement Jaxx and The Chemical Brothers with its anything goes, relentlessly exuberant party vibe.
Joshua Harvey and Graeme Sinden were introduced by a mutual friend and soon found they had a shared desire to blend a wide range of styles in their records rather than churning out the kind of "tedious deep house" they believed was restricting the ambition many of their contemporaries. This approach shines through on Mega Mega Mega, which uses an eclectic cast list of collaborators to ensure that each track spins off in a new, interesting direction.
Opening with the non-nonsense grime of Do You Really Want It, featuring Californian rapper Trackademicks, the album then shifts effortlessly to latest single After Dark, a dizzyingly euphoric collaboration with psychedelic rockers Mystery Jets that expertly repackages the latter's soaring melodies for the dancefloor.
Elsewhere, Desert Rhythm and Llamame (the latter boasting the vocal talents of the wonderfully named Coolio Iglesias) share Basement Jaxx's ability to forge Latin beats with electronica, generating a hedonistic carnival atmosphere. The title-track is pure unadulterated classic techno, and final cut You Make Me Feel So Good's chilled-out sonic landscape brings proceedings to a satisfying end, like Leftfield at their most blissfully mellow.
It doesn't all hit the spot - M.I.A. protege Rye Rye comes over as just an unimaginative clone of the Sri Lankan superstar on Hardcore Girls, while Panther is bland and shapeless clubbing by numbers. But in general, Mega Mega Mega is innovative, intelligent dance music that is as entertaining as it is enterprising, combining some of the most successful elements of the genre's varied past with the bang-up-to-date influences of today's urban and RnB artists.
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