DJ Mehdi | Red, Black & Blue

Ed Banger/Because (2009)
By GUSTAVO TURNER  |  January 5, 2010
3.5 3.5 Stars


No, Virginia, there's no Ed Banger. That is, you can go all over Paris looking for Monsieur Banger and you won't find him. (The label's name, by the way, is how the French pronounce "headbanger.") What you will discover behind the curtain is very canny music impresario Pedro Winter (a/k/a Busy P), and behind him, from way back in the days of cult nightclub Pulp, there's DJ Mehdi.

Mehdi has a talent for making beat soundscapes that are satisfying and clever without calling attention to their own cleverness, and his skill has catapulted him from the ethnic suburbs of Paris and the insular world of French hip-hop into the international dance scene. This solid release compiles some of his work as much-in-demand remixer.

It's superbly curated, so there are no skippable tracks in a journey that takes you from the silly LA braggadocio of MURS to the slightly less silly São Paulo braggadocio of CSS as it weaves a narrative from such diverse sources as Étienne de Crécy, Sebastien Tellier, Architecture in Helsinki, and Santigold. And, unlike other star remixers (we're looking at you, Aphex Twin), the playful Mehdi doesn't smother his collaborators under the weight of his own genius. How can you not love a dude who heard David Rubato's great-but-hard-to-dance-to "Circuit" and decided that it simply needed more Uffie?

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