Record Review - 2 October 03 2001

If any song title on Mainhatten Sound truly sums up the disc's sound, it's former Georgian Stewart Walker's "Songs Without Climax." Unlike your typical bombastic progressive trance mix, the latest by Ontario-based John Acquaviva — Richie Hawtin's bespeckled partner — pulses without interruption through 14 tracks. Granted, it has its fair share of tweaking and twisting, but there are no real builds or breaks.

Not that the constancy of Mainhatten Sound (a reference to the nickname for Frankfurt, Germany's business district, the Gotham of Europe) is unexpected or unpleasant. Acquaviva mixes a collection of tracks released on Frankfurt's Force Inc. label, so the overall feel is complementary, even if not every artist on the label is German. This showcase of characteristically hard tech-house and minimalist techno starts with a rigid Giorgio Moroder-like pulse and continues with thumping, bass-defaced 4/4 tracks by producers such as Porter Ricks, Hakan Libdo, DJ Rush, Thomas Heckmann and Sutekh.

While Mainhatten Sound's consistency may not appeal to ravers weaned on breakbeat breakdowns and synth-pad swells, the album perfectly reflects what the Frankfurt district, Force Inc. and Acquaviva are about: getting down to business for a job well done.

John Acquaviva spins at eleven50 Fri., Oct. 5.??