Carl Craig - Masterpiece

Detroit titan delivers the impressively unexpected...
Carl Craig Masterpiece

You’ve got to wonder just how long the commercial mix CD has left.

With an abundance of mediums for DJs in this day and age to showcase their wares to fans – whether through live streams such as Boiler Room, specially prepared sets for blogs or websites, or via internet or mainstream radio – the continued commitment to releasing mixes that Joe Public has to part with their cold hard cash for is perhaps borderline foolhardy.

Factor in the headaches that legal types endure to secure rights for each track featured, in order to sell the compilations for their own profit, and it can be difficult to understand why a brand would persevere with such a product.

Ministry Of Sound has been seeking to inject something special back in to the commercial mix via its ‘Masterpiece’ series, past curators of which include Francois K, Fabio & Grooverider and Andrew Weatherall.

Each DJ is tasked with creating a themed three-disc bundle, which has in the past succeeded with varying results. But, in the case of Detroit techno titan Carl Craig’s edition, the approach proves that there’s still relevance to be found in the commercial compilation.

This is largely down to the third disc, titled ‘Meditation’, which serves as a compilation of entirely new material that sees Craig shift his focus from dancefloor fodder to some impressive ambient explorations.

Elsewhere, the first disc is meant as a reflection of a present-day Craig set, featuring a solid representation of his fellow Detroit producers, ranging from veterans like Moodymann and Rick Wilhite to the prodigous newcomer Kyle Hall.

Disc two, ‘Inspiration’, is an intriguing listen, taking in Craig’s reference points that span funk rock and soul to hip-hop, via curiosities such as David Lynch’s brilliantly noirish ‘Noah’s Ark’.

7/10

Words: Jack Scourfield

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