Album + Compilation
Dutch DJ Marcello's music policy revolves around celebrating life and accentuating the positive, an attitude it's hard to criticise without sounding curmudgeonly. Why it does seem fair to take issue with his modus operandi, however, is that it results in long stretches of his addition to Supperclub's Ninesins series conforming to the most dispiriting aspects of chillout and cocktail bar house music: politeness, complacency, anonymity and derivativeness.
There's nothing wrong per se with music that doesn't thrust itself in your face and demand your full attention. And there's every justification for music to which it's pleasurable to laze on a sun-splashed terrace and sip cold drinks; in a situation like that Pere Ubu or a few choice grindcore numbers just aren't going to cut it. Unfortunately the seemingly endless appetite for chillout compilations – presumably led by retail outlets, wine bars and Cafe Del Mar fanatics – has prompted the creation of some toweringly mediocre music.
The problem with the first half of Marcello's two-disc mix is that once past the shimmering beatless drift of Extrawelt's Zu Fuss it hits a vein of inoffensive blandness – the jazzy instrumental hip-hop of Ta'raach's Baaaby; the watery disco-house of Rouge by Frontera – that it doesn't slough off until concluding with Mylo cohort Williams' soft trance take on Tangerine Dream's Love On A Real Train.
Things improve somewhat on disc two, the gentle dub techno of Trentemøller's Nightwalker and Lulu Rouge's Murcof-sampling Melankoli provoking a hypnotic lull that nevertheless has some muscle lurking beneath its gentle exterior. The mixing improves here, too, with disc one's brief segues being replaced by lengthier, more complementary shifts between tracks.
However, despite the inclusion of some other notably good tracks – the warm swoon of Loco Dice's M Train to Brooklyn; Manuel Tûr's sleek, jacking take on Skylark's Too Much Information; the submerged major chord classic house dynamics of Berliner Paul Kalkbrenner's Since 77 – Marcello still regularly veers back towards soporific navel-gazers that subsist on a few anaemic jazz licks and basic 4/4 beat programming. Even in a category as engorged with sub-par releases as the chillout mix, Supperclub Naivety doesn't do much to distinguish itself.