Album Review: M.A.N.D.Y. | Get Physical 7th Anniversary

Originally published by Time Out Chicago: TOC | M.A.N.D.Y.

Various Artists


Get Physical Records

house \haus \ n + tech•no \tek-nõ\ n

Listening to the latest DJ-mix from dynamic Berlin duo M.A.N.D.Y. (a.k.a. Philipp Jung and Patrick Bodmer) is always more of a treat than a task. The two head up one of Germany’s sources for the techier side of house and the housier side of techno, Get Physical Records. Home to a star-studded cast of producers and DJs that includes Booka Shade and DJ T, the label is often synonymous with the best in dance music.

The individual parts of Get Physical’s latest release, a 7th Anniversary mix disc, will mostly meet with smiles. A master of its art, M.A.N.D.Y. fine-tunes each of its mixes with all of the requisite ebbs and flows to perfectly re-create the feel of a packed dance floor, misty with perspiration. If you close your eyes, you can almost anticipate points where the crowd breaks down into fits of applause and whistling before being built back up into dance frenzy.

Track selection is where things get a bit murky. The mix sees the signature soft-tipped thump of Booka Shade on more than three separate occasions, which is usually a good thing. Get Physical’s flagship act has earned the exposure. Add to that some soul from Samim and Mical’s remix of Chelonis R. Jones’s Prince-like “Le Bateau Ivre” before shifting gears to the ghetto-techno-juke of “To the Gum” by Riton and Heidi, and you have a colorful breakup of the sometimes tracky monotony. Other highlights include Marc Newumann’s “Calypso” and Elbee Bad’s “Just Don’t Stop the Dance.”

The stutter steps are few but noticeable. Jona’s housed-up remake of Dave Brubeck’s “Take Five” is a glaring example. The original isn’t in 4/4 time which makes for tricky adaptation to the dance floor. Not only that, but it’s the only time the sound scape is taken over by a strong piano line which, when finally over, leaves a gaping sonic hole in the mix. Other low points include Patrice Bäumel’s “Roar,” which sounds more like a metal detector on the fritz than an actual song.

Beyond these specific critiques—M.A.N.D.Y.’s latest just doesn’t measure up to its past mixes—it works as party platter or gym soundtrack. If you’re looking for a first foray into M.A.N.D.Y. or Get Physical, start with 5 Years of Get Physical and M.A.N.D.Y.’s contribution to the At the Controls mix-CD series.

- Joshua P. Ferguson


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