Various Artists - HORSE MEAT DISCO 4

by Rob Taylor Rating:6.5 Release Date:2014-06-16

Getting to the fourth in any series, you want to be on solid ground lest the accusation crops up that you're cashing in on a venture’s success. Horse Meat Disco has a club residency at The Eagle in London’s Vauxhall, and it's apparently something of an institution. 

Fortunately for Strut, and for my credibility as a reviewer, I don’t need to resort to feckless puns about horse-shit and the knackery, or this being a gift horse. The music on this release is pretty much top-drawer. 

On any number of late nights, dissatisfied revellers trawl around the still open clubs in search of a place to dance off the early evening‘s excesses, often landing themselves in some place with house disco on the menu. OK, I’m including myself. All you can really ask of the resident DJ is for a journey to a higher plane, and no radical detours. 

More often than not, though, you experience that moment (which we can all relate to), when a injudicious track choice clears the dancefloor, and all us non-smokers head outside in the cold to bludge fags off the other non-smokers who bothered to buy them. This is the point at which everyone says, “Do you think the Chinese Laundry is still open, will they let us [Gen Xers] in?”  

A successful DJ mix, then, is more than just the sum of its parts, it’s an organic whole. That’s where this isn’t a clear success for me. There is some funky, booty shakin’ disco on display here, and some of it, like the Joey Negro stuff, is darker than I expected. The Shahid Mustaf MC track is a party starter, and the J Boogie’s Dubtronic Science and Laura Taylor numbers are class, but for me there’s just not the inter-connectness across the mix to keep my mind and body in synchrony. No question about the stylishness of the production, the quality of work on the decks, and the sophistication of the music. Some truly champagne moments.

If I ever get to a Horse Meat Disco event, I’ll remember to bring the fags. 

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