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Spectacle

Mike Relm

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Album Review

San Francisco DJ/turntablist Mike Relm does a competent job on his debut album, Spectacle, creating a series of dance tracks featuring his Moog Voyager synthesizer and topped by a variety of rappers and singers. Relm doesn't represent any progression in electronic music, and that's deliberate. His music often sounds like it could have been made by Afrika Bambaataa in 1982, which means he is something of a traditionalist. The album is tied together by a portentous song that goes by different names as it reappears throughout the disc. "Every time you break my heart," sings Adrian Hartley, "Mama sends anonymous letters saying you're gonna bleed." First time around, the track is called "Everytime" and has a rap by Del tha Funky Homosapien. When it comes back later, it's called "You Break," and Mr. Lif raps over it. At the end, it's become "My Heart," and Adeem is doing the rapping. In between, Relm provides interludes that sound like someone switching channels on a TV set, complete with snatches of "I Feel Pretty" from West Side Story and celebrity interviewer Larry King asking one of his typically inane questions. Relm can be credited with maintaining interest, even if he has to borrow Nilsson's "Without Her" to do it, and if there's nothing new on Spectacle, it's nevertheless a light, enjoyable listen.

Biography

Born: 1978 in San Francisco, CA

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '90s, '00s

One of the DJ/turntablist scene's major attractions, Mike Relm (born Michael Wong) became known for his amazing beat-juggling performances that cunningly incorporate visuals as well as genre mash-ups. At any given set, one can expect Relm, usually wearing a suit and tie with tennis shoes, to juxtapose music from Jay-Z, Nirvana, and Björk with excerpts from Office Space and Peanuts cartoons. Born in 1978 in San Francisco yet raised in Daly City, CA, Relm first developed his affinity for music through...
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Spectacle, Mike Relm
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