Disco Powerplay album cover
Disco Powerplay

Soft Rocks

2011
Soft Rocks Recordings

In the early 00s, two things happened. First the last-days-of-rome decline of superstar DJ culture turned many musically curious people off the 90s dance mainstream and drew attention back to the stranger, more eclectic roots of DJ culture in New York, Chicago and Ibiza. Second, the arrival of easy to use editing software — notably Ableton Live — allowed any music from any time to be chopped up and made “DJ friendly.” All too often this led to a ghastly blanding and straightening out of quirky source material, but there were a few people who did it right — notably obsessive crate-digging London party crew Soft Rocks. This collection of their 00s edits has stuff that sounds like Gary Numan, like Prince, like The Allman Brothers, and even a cod-reggae Europop cover version of Iron Butterfly's “In-a-Gadda-da-Vida.” It skims exactly that weird fractal boundary between pop and freakout, sophisticated and demented, that the original generation Balearic DJs consistently navigated, and while it’s extremely reliable party material, it’s never, ever predictable.

Joe Muggs

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