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  Nigel Richards DJ Mix: a commemorative mix for the whistle 3 party
by Sterling McGarvey

Nigel RichardsHe founded 611 Records. He is a crucial element of the Philly scene. He gave Dieselboy a job. He produces tracks that some of our favorite House and Techno DJs, like Carl Cox, DJ Dan, and Richie Hawtin, have in constant rotation. He doesn't just mix some of the most banging Tech House tunes; he stuffs them in a blender and holds down the "frappe" button until they ooze forth from the speakers. He headlined one of the biggest parties on the East Coast in the summer of 2000 that didn't run into controversial legal problems. If you still don't know who I'm talking about, then I'm personally appalled that the name Nigel Richards doesn't come to mind.

Nigel Richards' newest CD, entitled DJ Mix: a commemorative mix for the whistle 3 party, is a journey through the blurred lines of funky house and banging techno. The CD kicks off with an intro that will have you wondering if your CD is warped or defective. You'll know it's not when the killer Steve Martin sample kicks right in. The funky sample opens up a nice little Tech-Housey beat courtesy of Paranoid Jack. It mixes right into "House of Funk," by m1 featuring neon lights, a tune rather familiar to many due to its play on DJ Dan's 1999 Mix CD scorcher, "Funk the System." By this point, the CD has more than exceeded the required head bobs per minute on a set of headphones. "House of Funk" melts into a track by Richards himself, "Make Love to Me," a track that, well, it's just bugged out. It must be heard on its own to describe the oddness of the samples. From there, the tracks fluidly move into one another.

The mixing on this album is excellent. One second, you're listening to some groovy disco house, the next moment, you hear a familiar sample from Eddie Amador's "House Music." Then you realize: You're two tracks ahead of when you last kept count! From there, the sounds migrate towards a harder, techier sound. As the sample of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech runs over a hard tech house track (Simon's "Free at Last"), one can imagine a group of hundreds, no, thousands of party kids completely losing it during the "Free at Last" part. History over Tech-House becomes straight up techno...but not for long.

Nigel Richards Just as one's ears become acclimated to the sounds of banging techno from Dietrich Schoenemann and Fuzzface (Fuzzface's "Boom Box" is a very solid banger of a track), Richards throws in some discoey-sounding House, then switches over to hard house courtesy of Trevor Rockcliffe's "Take a Chance," which resurrects the Steve Martin sample just for the hell of it. Soon, we are listening to some more original Nigel Richards tracks. "Penetration," strangely enough, reminds me of a sample that I've heard in A Tribe Called Quest's "Electric Relaxation." Hip-Hop classics connecting to tech House, you say? Trust me, it's something about one of the background things and it's very subtle. You'll likely miss it as the next track blends in and you ask yourself, "Oh, my, is this track saying what I think it's saying?" It's his popular track "Want Tu Fahk." The next very solid track that stands out is Frankie Bones' "Baseball" with its warped vocal sample looping repeatedly over as a techy beat feels like it's slicing sharply against one's speakers. It feels like every track from 12 (Richards' "Penetration") to the last track tries to outdo the previous one for most hard basslines and kicks in combination with the weirdest sounding samples and acid squelches (I would never listen to Fuzz Tracks' "Construction" with a headache and sour stomach; it just sounds like the sonic barriers are pushed to the point of making a sick person feel worse). This is far from a bad thing, though. Every good mix CD should be blowing up really hard to a good climax by this point, and Mr. Richards has the intensity cranked up to 20 on a scale of 10.

One must ask a few questions when looking at a CD of this nature, since it is a commemorative mix of one of the biggest parties on the East Coast of 2000: Did it deliver the big ambience of a set at a massive? Very much so. Would I go nuts on a dancefloor hearing these tracks? You're darn tootin'! Did it make me wish I'd been at that party? Definitely. If you're having one of those days where your collection of other house tunes won't cut it and your techno collection is more minimal than a Richie Hawtin set, then this CD should be in your collection. Besides, how many CDs do you have in which the closing track has one of those really, really robotic-sounding text-to-voice programs spouting maxims that would make your grandmother blush (if she could understand them) over a tech-house track? I bet they're few and far in between. Pick this one up. You won't regret it.


DJ Mix cover art DJ Mix: a commemorative mix for the whistle 3 party
Compiled and mixed by Nigel Richards
Record Label:
Track Listing:

  1. Soldiers Of The Underground - Paranoid Jack
  2. House Of Funk - M1 Presents Neon Lights
  3. Make Love To Me - Nigel Richards
  4. Perpetual Funktion - Studio Nova
  5. Medley, The - Nigel Richards
  6. Afterhours - The Stickmen
  7. Free At Last - Simon
  8. Evolute - Dietrich Schoenemann
  9. Boom Box - Fuzzface
  10. Next Freak, The - Funk 198
  11. Take A Chance - Trevor Rockliffe
  12. Penetration - Nigel Richards
  13. Want Tu Fahk - Nigel Richards
  14. One For The Road - Birdman
  15. Baseball - Frankie Bones
  16. Soaked - DIMA
  17. Untitled - Fuzz Tracks
  18. Poetry - DIMA (Shit Again mix)

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