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Choo Choo Records Vol. 1 (Continuous DJ Mix By Anthony Papa)

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Album Review

Choo Choo Records, Vol. 1 finds Anthony Pappa piecing together a set composed strictly of tracks from the label of the same name. Granted, Choo Choo Records is a leading progressive trance label in the U.K., but it's definitely no Bedrock or Hooj Choons. In short, there just isn't enough variety here to make the mix a rewarding listen, even if Pappa tries his best. All but two of the tracks are produced or remixed by label owner Barry Gilbey under the monikers Mara, Pappa and Gilbey, Praxis, Hyperion, and Red Devil — quite a self-indulgent venture of his, hiring Pappa to mix an album of nothing but his productions on his label. Still, if you can forgive Gilbey for his vanity, it's hard to forgive him for his lackluster production work. "Always" and "One" are impressive, but the rest of the tracks are relatively bland, with the exception of the album's high point, Revolt's "Dive Into the Deep," ironically one of the two tracks not produced by Gilbey. If you do enjoy the relentless, numbing Choo Choo style of progressive trance, there's plenty of it here. However, anyone looking to this album because of Pappa's reputation for being one of the up-and-coming progressive DJs out there in the early 2000s will probably walk away disappointed. Whether you like it or not, Pappa is merely a tool for Gilbey's self-indulgence here. No right-minded DJ would spin a set of tracks all from the same label, and surely none would spin a set of just one producer's tracks. And there's a reason why no right-minded DJ would: it results in redundancy.


Born: 15 November 1973 in Melbourne, Australia

Genre: Dance

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Though Anthony Pappa had already made the rounds at many of England's top clubs such as Renaissance, Cream, Bedrock, and Ministry of Sound, it wasn't until he was awarded the first volume in Global Underground's ambitious Nu Breed series that many really gave him a close look. Ever since he won Australia's D.M.C. DJ championship at the tender age of 15, there has always been something special about Pappa. Since those late-teen years DJing in Australia, he left for the electronic music utopia of England,...
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Choo Choo Records Vol. 1 (Continuous DJ Mix By Anthony Papa), Anthony Papa
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