James Holden

The Idiots Are Winning | Border Community
By MATTHEW GASTEIER  |  January 22, 2007
2.5 2.5 Stars
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In the compartmentalized dance community, James Holden’s debut full-length is a surprising departure from the progressive house that’s given him a following: on The Idiots Are Winning, the DJ/producer renowned for his trance mixes has turned toward the house headphone crowd. The move has been acclaimed by aficionados who rarely look to the populist trance subset; experimental house producer Matthew Herbert even named The Idiots Are Winning one of the best records of 2006. The CD begins with the thumping persistence of “Lump” and carries on through “Corduroy,” the whirring and whooping cut-up centerpiece that could be the focus of an updated Fantasia come 2100. The second half fizzles out with silly tracks like “Intentionally Left Blank” and “Quiet Drumming,” so maybe it’s better to view the release as an EP, a promising attempt to bridge two sections of the dance family tree that shouldn’t have stopped talking to each other in the first place.
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