I knew when I saw DJ Sneak was mixing some Om records tracks he'd bring a big ole phat, funky dublike vibe to the usually jazzy catalogue over at Om. Sneak's from the American "old guard" of house music, right at home with his peers like Roger Sanchez and Eric Morillo. Back in the day, he was pumping out fierce mixes on Cajual records from Chicago- as well as a ton of underground tracks. I first turned onto him in the late 90's with his classic track "U Can't Hide from Your Bud." Here was a DJ who could loop a phat bassline, a few choice vocals and a sample or two and keep a track going strong. Always pumpin'. And then there was that white label of Groove Armada's "I See You Baby" that was THE mix to play if you wanted to set the floor on fire- it circulated as "Sneaky Armada." DJ Sneak's got mad skillz when it comes to minimal, funky house music. It's ALL about that everlastin' bumpin' bassline and jugglin' the samples around like a shell game. You're not likely to ever see Sneak on a mainstream pop remix, he's for the househeads only. This mix CD is just like that, simple straight up funky house music spiced with DJ tricks. All very minimal. Very low end and tres phatt.
Sneak starts off with a scat vocal, playing around with it 'til you're begging for the beat to drop. And then, just like someone slipping up from behind and gently tapping your shoulder, the percussion teases and the kick drops DJ Spettro's "Family in Mind." Lawnchair Generals provide the next two tracks "The Truth" and "We Got to Go"- both groovy, head bobbin' tracks featuring a bubbling bass and tastefully added chords and light vocals. Quirky vocoded vocals, techno blips and and another funk bassline characterize the next track "Life Is A Dream" from Lil' Mark. The same vibe continues through the next track and a few more vocals appear with the Jason Hodges remix of Chris Carrier's "Faded Shades of You." Sneak shows his Chicago roots with "Acid Attack" by No Assembly Firm- a retro techno workout featuring a TR303, old school drum machine hits and a vocal popping up here and there simply saying "house." Roomsa feat. Lady Sarah features an old jazz piano sample and some horns in the track "November Jazz." The jazz vibes continues in the next track until things get a little harder and more driving with C-Pen's "Puffin Stuff (JT's Flashback mix)."
A catchy vocal and twisting bassline bring the intensity up- and if by now your head isn't bobbin' to the insistent house groove, I suppose it never will. Johnny Fiasco's "Werk It" brings the first taste of a diva (although he's male) with the repetition of "work it out." Back to more jazz samples before Sneak drops his own track "Funky Rhythm"- driven by a solid low end and some catchy repetitive vocals. This is my favorite track on the CD. And we are at the end as the beat fades into sounds of the ocean.
This CD will appeal to househeads who like jazz, old school techno and deep funky laid-back house grooves. Sneak mixes it solid- keeping it chunky, keeping the low end thumpin'. You won't hear any "anthems" or big vocal performances, but you will hear a deep house set heavy on the jazz and funk.