Richard (Humpty) Vission
Vission's nickname suggests an old-school hip-hop connection, but there's nothing remotely Digital Underground-like about this rising DJ's Humpty dances. As the man charged by Madonna to make "Music" -- her latest single -- club-friendly, he's one of the mixologists of the moment, and Shut the Fuck Up shows why. The disc finds him cramming treatments of 54 tunes into a single hour's worth of digital space, and the pace during that span seldom flags. Save your money and your brain cells, Junior: Just listening to this stuff makes you feel like you're on ecstasy.
On the surface, the tools Vission uses aren't significantly different from those heard in discotheques since the days when wearing a spoon around your neck was a sign of suavity: wailing diva voices, macho chants ("Party people, pump it up!"), breakbeats and lotsa thump-thump. Indeed, he tends to shy away from straight-on electro in favor of soundscapes derived from vintage-sounding hyperactive soul such as Flygang's "Disco Train," the Rozalla-voiced "Everybody's Free," Groovaholic's "Wake Up the Funk," and "Rise," by Eddie Amador. But whereas plenty of visitors to the house style take the easy way out and simply crank the bass until it's capable of causing an irregular heartbeat, Vission mostly keeps his tones on the surface, with cymbals and clattering rhythms occupying the treble spectrum, thereby allowing voices and synthesized effects to undulate beneath them like overstimulated pythons. It's a crazed approach that allows Vission to get seemingly incompatible forms into enjoyably compromising situations. Take "Dope Man P.O.T./TMS1 Remix," in which an old N.W.A. provocation winds up doing the nasty with what sounds for all the world like a little John Williams from the Superman soundtrack.
The latter is uncredited, but Vission may be okay anyhow: Williams doesn't seem like the kind of guy who spends a lot of time shaking his aging tailfeather under a strobe light. Then again, Shut the Fuck Up and Dance is so irresistible that it's capable of turning practically anyone into a raving hedonist. Roll over, George Lucas, and tell Steven Spielberg the news.
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