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REVIEW: Behrouz spins a set of 'Pure' addictive House beats
Review by BPM Smith

Every year a DJ will spin a mixed album that is so smoothly compiled with head bobbing tracks that it remains fresh despite getting constant play in my car stereo. San Francisco DJ/producer Behrouz has compiled just such an album in "Pure Behrouz NYC" that Nervous Records recently launched in stores across the USA.

BehrouzBehrouz Nazari (pictured left), based in San Francisco but effectively a citizen of the world at this point in his globe-trotting career, is known for his Pure Behrouz club nights that run the gamut of club music’s history. His seamless mixing of old classics with the latest buzz tracks has him in constant demand, and he has ridden the momentum to club venues in virtually all continents.

In the two-disc Pure Behrouz NYC, he has created two moods that are perfectly suitable for city dwellers driving to the club, as well as an evening of pre-partying or a night spent enjoying music at home.

The first disc opens with ambient House classics from The King Street Crew, Code 718 and Soul Boy. As the BPMs build, Behrouz counters the rising speed with organic string instruments -- more often associated with Classical music than House -- with Studio Apartment featuring Ron Carroll in "I'm In Love" that flows seamlessly into Kalim Shabazz's "Peak Bomb."

Behrouz’s own productions "Rich In Paradise" (Instrumental Mix) and "Time Travel" give the set a solid backbone for listeners who favor smooth bass licks with minimal vocals to distract from the rhythm, before he closes the disc out with "Siempre" (Jimpster Remix) by Navarro. Even where tracks include vocals, the beats always prevail over singing. Nick Holder’s "Time" that bridges into Behrouz’s "Rich In Paradise" instrumental is a good example of this aesthetic, as the chorus includes only a repetitive four-word utterance.

Disc two opens with Shara Nelson's understated vocals rounding out a Nu Frequency track that morphs into the complex "Hyper Space" by DJ Pippi vs. Willie Graff, a slower dreamscape that gradually ramps up to 135 or so BPM. These first three tracks are stretched into a good 20 minutes that left me in a near hypnotic state even after listening to the disc a dozen times.

Behrouz's pacing and beat matching here sets up listeners for disc two's more danceable remaining 14 tracks, starting with Joris Voorn’s "Blank" and blasting through the multi-layered beats of talented producers from Nick Chacona to Rollo, Alex Niri and Friendly People's "Music Improper." I don't know what exactly Martin Buttrich did when he remixed Improper, other than draw me into some type of Dreamland in which I could not stop nodding my head.

The album closes out with Aril Brikha, whose "Kept Within" is one of two Techno tracks showcasing Behrouz's seemingly effortless ability to merge disparate genres of electronic music. If you buy only one House or Techno album during the holiday season pick up Pure Behrouz NYC, which is among the most pleasurable listening experiences of 2008.

Scale: 5 stars: Incredible!... 4 stars: Excellent... 3 stars: Good... 2 stars: Mediocre... 1 star: Lame!

Rating: 5 stars

The Bass Test: Every album faces a severe test in BPM Smith’s car stereo, which regularly wins bass wars vs. the hip hop loving homeboys of Oakland, California. Pure Behrouz NYC has consistently midlevel basslines from beginning to end of this encylopedia of club music. Unlike some of the rumbling bass of his peers who can make your rear view mirror vibrate, Behrouz’s approach is one of symmetry. While you won’t win any bass wars with this album, its remarkably steady levels over a whopping 34 tracks helps guide listeners into a trancelike state, so his intended effect is a success.

Bass Score: 9

BPM Smith is a Drum & Bass DJ, novelist and editor of WORD'N'BASS.com. His eyes are currently bleary from a week spent playing poker tournaments in Vegas. You can contact him by e-mail at editor(at)wordnbass.com.


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