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REVIEW: Iberican Sound flourishes in Chus & Ceballos album ‘Back 2 Back’
Review by BPM Smith

Chus & Ceballos, a Madrid, Spain-based pair of DJs who introduced the "Iberican Sound" to the global Tribal House scene, have launched the homemade genre to an American audience with seemingly effortless remixing in their fourth full-length album, Back 2 Back.

In disc one, DJ Chus patiently ratchets up the BPMs from a slow, almost introspective self-produced opening to the rumbling bass lines in Cytric’s I Need You. He waits to hit full speed until Excerpts from a World Heartbeat, a Tribal track by D’Tone with Jeannie Hopper handling vocals, a full 20 minutes into the set. That gradual beat ramp-up brings the listener into a mood sometimes euphoric, sometimes trancelike.

Throughout, Chus flows on the turntables with a warmth that evokes dreams of poolside parties and steamy Ibiza clubs. If one track exemplifies how Chus converts a traditional House track into the Iberican Sound, it’s Moon Shitar, which he remixes with gorgeous acapella sitar notes from Cevin Fisher’s Love You Some More.

In his standalone set that’s tempered with remixes galore, Ceballos opens with a straight up grinding Muzzaik track Ain’t Right remixed by Tommyboy that he chops with Kult of Krameria’s Pure Reality. That’s right, he remixes a remix on the decks and then quickly transitions into another remix of Deep Sleepless Night, a popular House anthem from the 90s.

While I appreciate Ceballos giving props to the first generation of ravers with a solid remix of an old school track, the set begins to soar ten minutes later beginning with spinning partner DJ Chus’ World Routes. That track marks Ceballos’ surge into the kind of beats that will have any Tribal fanatic impulsively nodding their heads.

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. Back 2 Back is not only an ideal introduction to the Iberican Sound. Chus & Ceballos recognize that Star 69 Records’ American audience favors rumbling bass lines, and Back 2 Back is a good example of why fans view Tribal beats as the sweetest in House music.

Bass Score: 10

BPM Smith is a Drum & Bass DJ, novelist and editor of WORD'N'BASS.com. He often dumps coffee on his best clothes while entering poker tournaments late. You can contact him by e-mail at editor(at)wordnbass.com

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