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Music Review: Lot 49 Presents Lee Coombs

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The breakbeat scene owes an awful lot to Lee Coombs. The British producer has been holding it down for over a decade, springing mix CDs and compilations chock full of remixes and redubs of the world’s best artists. Coombs has owned the dance floor, crushing the competition with his infinite loops and breakdowns.

He really made it happen in 2001 with the release of the critically-acclaimed Future Sound of Retro. Lee Coombs had arrived on the world stage and was ready to bare his teeth for the club kids. Pete Tong even noted that Coombs was “one to watch.” And when Pete Tong notices something, you better notice it too.

Coombs took off like a shot, remixing and mixing for the likes of Paul Oakenfold, Lamb, New Order, and Moby. In 2004 he released his debut artist album, Breakfast of Champions, and started mixing house, acid, funk, and techno into his breaks to flesh out a broader, more diverse sound.

By tapping into the third instalment of the much-loved Lot 49 Presents series, Lee Coombs is given a chance to show off his stuff in an unyielding compilation of beats, hooks, and rabbit punches. Lot 49 Presents Lee Coombs is a glittering release, marking one of several new ones the extraordinary DJ/producer has in mind for the next few months.

What really stands out about this compilation is its flexibility and sheer capacity. Coombs works with broad lines, painting big pounding pictures with his breaks and beats. He slaps and slams things around, but always maintains a handsome sense of color.

Take the minimalism of “Duo Drive,” for a start. Here Coombs launches a simple drum beat and coats it with swirling synth until he strips it down into a basic groove. With “Daddio,” that same effortlessness forms the basis for a roundabout track that is accented by gorgeous vocals and booming bass.

The mixes incessantly rock, pulling and pushing into one another with rare gaps in the uninterrupted sound. “Zum Goldenen Handschuh” morphs without a glitch into “Galia Melon,” for instance, creating an unspoiled mood ideal for any late-night-to-early-morning dance party. And the colossal “No Hits” from Black Mountain vs. UNKLE seals the deal with precision breaks and diabolical beats.

All in all, Lot 49 Presents Lee Coombs is a stellar set of dance, trance, breakbeat, house, and techno righteousness. It is perfect gas for your dance party or ideal for a trouble-free evening of unwinding. Turn up your strobe and lock in some Lee Coombs. You’ll see stars.

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