CD Review

Most of this Justice-style, indie-dance stuff pulls dance music away from the soulful abstraction of the best house and techno. Instead, the artists in this vein set their synths on an arena-rock lexicon of riffs, hooks and greatest-hits set lists. Except for Daft Punk pulling off a pyramidal live show, 2007 was mainly a year of spiky-haired kids with drum machines making music for skinny white guys who can't DJ to put onto their laptops so other skinny white guys could stare at them pointing and clicking. In short, these Daft Punk/Justice disciples make dance music damn near undanceable.

Boys Noize's Alex Ridha is from Germany, where techno is pop music and trance is its crunk, so he knows his Carl Craig from his Cassius, his Sven Väth from his Simian Mobile Disco. Oi Oi Oi is full-on, and cuts such as “Lava Lava” are the kind of drill-bit funk that can hang with the best of them. But under the distorted synths and rough tones beats the squiggly, hands-in-the-air heart of the best acid house and the fiercest techno-slash-tekkno. There are gimmicks, sure: “Superfresh” has its computer voices and clipped loops repeating until they lull you like a kitten with a ball of yarn. But Ridha is more than clever on “Don't Believe the Hype.” Like “Wu-Tang (Battery Pt.2),” the title borrows equity (hey, why do you think Derrick May named an otherwise-faceless track “Nude Photo”?), but “Hype” doesn't just grind—it swings.

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