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DJ Chris Anthem, aka Gunslinger, offers a medley of dance and party tracks founded on a pulsating, groove-oriented modus operandi. With feisty synth lines, catchy riffs and echo-laden vocals, the program casts an appeasing portraiture of retro house beats with a modern periphery. Gunslinger incorporates beefy electro-bass parts into the grand schema, which is a component that works agreeably with the snappy beats.
At times, Gunslinger's vocals project mystical attributes, especially during the hazy dream-type ambient-electronica jaunts, largely evidenced within various interludes or movements. He cagily morphs the oscillating and melodious segments into the netherworld, when not steering the music into techno-psychedelic forays, spiced with an up-tempo impetus. And on "Variation," the DJ bangs out a pop-rock dance vibe atop a pliant framework and hearty rock rhythms.
Unlike other productions of this ilk, the artist refrains from sugarcoating many of his arrangements with layer-upon-layer of electronic effects and nonsensical interludes, uncannily bridging a new wave rock mindset with traditional electronic dance music paradigms. More important, Gunslinger's compositions are designed with sustainable qualities, based on memorable hooks and a buoyant approach to the material. With a musicality underscored by theatrical implications, Early Volumes 1 is an enjoyable outing that should appeal to both the hardcore house music advocates and the modern pop-rock crowd.
Track Listing: Run For Your Life; Who Have You Been; Words; Unbreakable; Variations; Saving Your Heart; Gravity; Nothing's Good Enough.
As a kid, my mom told me I'd like jazz. I thought she was nuts. Then I went to hear Cannonball Adderley (with Nat Adderley, George Duke, Walter Booker, Roy McCurdy and Airto) and everything changed. Yeah, mom knows best.