Sultan

Montreal | Yashitoshi
By MICHAEL FREEDBERG  |  August 14, 2007
3.0 3.0 Stars
inside_dj-sultan---yoshitos
With a flourish of luminous synthesizer taken directly from the opening of Mylene Farmer’s 2000 hit “C’est une belle journée,” the first track of this CD, Zara’s “No Why,” establishes a taste in dance music that’s recognizably, authentically Montreal. Although Sultan, the DJ who mixed this set, presents an almost Montreal radio set of 14 tracks in which one hears very little of the improvisational mixing of a live set, that’s okay: Montreal radio taste is a radical break from the harsh edge, instrumental spite, and funky disconnects that rule most of today’s dance floors. Music radio in Montreal has been disco-oriented since the ’70s, and it’s not unusual to hear trance, techno, and space-disco tracks like Sultan and Ned Sheppard’s “Aidan,” DYAD 10 & Julie Dennis’s “Sugar,” Lee Wharton & Jay Lloyd’s “Symphony,” and Spider & Legaz’s “Look Around.” The theme of Valentino’s “Flying” has always been a feature of Montreal’s idealistic tastes; likewise the track’s soaring but soft diva vocal, and the good-vibrations piano balladry of “Night Visions” as sung by Stephanie Vezina. Two major Montreal DJs also contribute: Max Graham mixes Common Grounds’ “To Be Given,” a funky track with an almost disco-era guitar lick, and Joe T. Vannelli does “Prelude,” the darkest track, with the dirtiest beat and two surprises — a curious, unexpected sitar solo that leads to a riff redolent of a Gordon Lightfoot ballad.
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