Ultra Electro — a 24-track, 2-disc set of electronically charged funky hip hop — is mostly comprised of remixes and features well-known artists such as The Gorillaz, Moby, and Depeche Mode, but also lesser known groups.
The first CD starts off with a great Soulwax remix of the song “Dare” by The Gorrilaz, which sets the tone for the rest of the disc: energetic with a strong beat – music that makes you want to dance, a lot.
Other highlights include the Planet Funk remix of New Order’s “Waiting For The Sirens Call,” a great update of the song for the electric dance crowd that uses layered vocals, echo effects and synths to its advantage.
“Technologic” is fun, but perhaps a remix would have been better than the original song since it tends to become a tad annoying and is overly long. The best song of the CD is probably the Sebastian Ingrosso remix of “Dream About Me” by Moby. The song is danceable, energetic, and just sounds good.
Things aren’t always so great: Tommie Sunshine’s Brooklyn Fire remix of “Le Disko” by Shiny Toy Guns comes off like a bad Duran Duran rip-off with incredibly cheesy lyrics. Luckily though, these moments are few and far between on Disc 1, and it succeeds in being a great electro compilation.
Where Disc 1 of Ultra Electro was mostly made up of remixes, Disc 2 is the opposite (only 4 songs out of 12 are remixes) and judging from the results, that was a bad move. This second disc feels very repetitive, sluggish, and boring, the opposite of how an electro compilation should sound.
The Paper Face’s remix of the Armand Van Helden song “Sugar” is very good, as is most Armand Van Helden material, but it is unfortunately surrounded by two uninspired tracks (“Easy” by Trick And Kubric, feat. Valeska, and “Me” by Laid, feat. Yota). The disc picks up a bit around the end with “Same Man” by Till West & DJ Delicious along with “Tell Me Why” by Supermode. Both songs are fun and lively, possessing a unique energy. Unfortunately, it’s hard for that energy to shine through when it’s buried beneath a pile of uninspired and tired electro.
Why David Waxman didn’t simply skip the second disc and make the first one a tad longer, I suspect we will never know.