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  Marcus & Dominique Decks and the City, vol. 1: New York City
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Rating: 3.5 out of 5

by Darbi Aranio

Decks and the City is a brand new mix compilation series released by Takeout Records that highlights the talent in different cities across North America. Marcus and Dominique, both resident DJs of New York's famed club, Centro-Fly, were chosen to represent New York in the first release of the series. The duo produces under the moniker of Plant, and recently started a label with the same name.

The more I listen to this CD, the more it grows on me. It begins with several fun vocal house tracks and has a feelgood kind of flow. The first track is Derrick Carter's "Where U At?" which is a little darker and more thought provoking than the following three songs, that are lighter in spirit. Finishing up this section of the CD is the uplifting piano house track, "Chorus," by Bushwacka.

Beginning with the Johnny Fiasco remix of Paul Johnson's "Get on my Camel," the CD takes a turn toward the harder, more serious side of house and gets a little more attitude. It begins to pick up a tribal feel and carries this theme for a few songs. The mix here is quite good into Twisted Pair's jazzed out track, "Horney Hustle (Jamie Anderson Remix)." Eerie voice effects in Derrick Carter's B.H.Q. Edition of Tony Senghore's "Hey Chica" sound somewhat similar to the voice effects used in the opening Derrick Carter track and help to unify the beginning and middle of the CD.

From here, the duo begins a very long mix into Hipp-e & Tony's "Shine." It's probably one of the longest mixes on the entire CD, and the beats do go off a bit at times, but it's forgivable for an over 3 minute mix. Overall the mixing sounds like it is trying to emulate a live DJ set, rather than a studio production with lots of tweaking. Sometimes the mixing isn't always perfect, but it is varied overall: sometimes fast and abrupt, other times riding it out for a while.

The mood lightens up a little with La Fractoria Posse's "Louder 5.1" and increases in energy. With Little Bossa's "The Riddle," it gets techier and develops a darker, driving feel. From here, Plant's own "Oil & Steal" brings it down really deep. The CD ends on a deep, spacey, but feelgood note with Ilana, "5.05 (Selway Lightwave Remix)," on Plant's own label. It's a good ending track.

The concept for this series is fantastic. I only hope Atlanta is one of the next cities to be featured!

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