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Album Review

There's no clear line between good house and bad house. Records that rocked the party the night before might lack any real "umph" come the next morning. Yet the most fascinating and intricate audio movements might be lost on the dancefloor. Heck, a record that you've always hated might just sound great the one night that one DJ plays it at just the right time. It's never a sure thing. But, although nothing is certain, Justin Harris and Luke Solomon have established themselves as one of your best bets. Their debut album as Freaks, following several single releases, is top-notch house music of nearly every sort and style. From the squared beat of "Discorobot" to the Latin jazz-up of "Dance and Disorder" and the bumpity-bump of "Mysteries.com," every selection is the type of cut you'd possibly hear on a more mature dancefloor. The production is ace, with every track finding the perfect mix of organic funk and quirky electronic soul. For tracks like "Method Is Madness" and "The Theme (From the Beat)," that means an almost techno synthesis of sound, while for "Lucid Times" it is as subtle as a quiet 1/4-note scale running behind the rich analog lead. But honestly, the best part about listening to Freaks is the fact that you won't really feel like analyzing each switch in style or reference. You can just settle into a groove that's not afraid of change, but never threatens to make too hard a turn.

The Beat Diaries, Luke Solomon
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