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Album Review

Alienaided is a collection of original trance tracks by San Francisco-based DJ and producer Mars, who has been an influential member of the West Coast dance music scene for close to 15 years. This album finds him working with figures even more venerable than himself, notably the Jungle Brothers (on "Ital Stew") and funk elder statesman George Clinton (on "It's the Truth," "Mars vs. Donald Glaude," and "It's All Trance"). Much of the music here will appeal primarily to those already converted to the trance gospel; to anyone other than a hardcore fan, tracks like "Haunted Hayes St." and "To Trust Is to Have Faith" will sound like little more than standard-issue, texturized four-on-the-floor house beats. But Mars does throw a changeup every now and again: "Ital Stew" is a wonderful slab of junglist hip-hop, and the Jungle Brothers' motor-mouthed nutritional propaganda ("It's not my fault you've got diarrhea, homey") is hilarious. "It's All Trance" incorporates a ska backbeat into the thudding trance mix, while "Ionizer" and "These Frequencies" even bring in a funky breakbeat. This is sure to be a hit with Mars' established fans, and may even win him a convert or two.

Alienaided, Mars
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