Latin DJ fills album with bland tracks

Paul Kix

The Latin sensation has come full circle — it has reached techno. In the style of a true DJ, John Kelley has put forth his latest compilation CD. “HIGHDESERTSOUNDSYSTEM” includes tracks from artists such as Timo Mass, Joel Mull and Stephen Cinch, and groups such as the Southside Spinners and Transcetters.

Kelley does a seamless job of overlapping beats between tracks. When listened to, the CD is an overflowing mix of bass rhythms, organ sounds and synthesizers.

Although techno music is probably the hardest genre of music to be diverse,”HIGHDESERTSOUNDSYSTEM” comes off as bland and, at times, boring. Kelley’s strength of overlapping beats may also be his downfall. The album takes on the feel of one long song played at a dance marathon.

If Kelley’s aim with this CD was to get people at a rave or party to start dancing, it will succeed, it may be best suited as an accompaniment to a party environment — something where the party-goer wakes up the morning after and remembers the time had, not the music played. The music only served as the device to keep people dancing.

This album would be very difficult to pop into your car stereo and listen to from front to back. “HIGHDESERTSOUNDSYSTEM” is track after track of driving bass rhythms, with slightly varied synthesized sounds serving as the only way to know you are listening to a new song.

If a fan of techno or in search of a dance CD that has slipped through the cracks of mainstream, “HIGHDESERTSOUNDSYSTEM” is for you. The record is also for you if you’re currently scheming to torture your archnemesis “Clockwork Orange” style by tying them down and cranking up the sound system.

** 1/2.