Record Review - 6 January 02 2002

Disco's extroverted image to the contrary, dance music has often been as much about interiority as exteriority — intimate beats and voluptuous textures evoking the small, velvet-lined back room of a hip boîte, an arrangement's melismatic sweep capturing private emotional upheaval. And no recent club music has delved inward more seductively than the genre scene aficionados dub "microhouse," which merges the abrupt cut-off musical phrases of laptop glitch-meisters like Oval with the filtered whooshes of dry-ice techno and house's warm thump. The best of it is intimate, detailed, rich and incredibly sexy — as on Superlongevity, a compilation so rapturously carnal you get the feeling the title is a tribute to anyone who can fuck through its entire two-and-a-half hours. More likely, though, it's a clever way to sneak the German label's name into its product: SuPERLONgevity.?

The grooves get right next to you, as the sucking, clacking, popping and brushing noises breathe into your ear, from the three-note water-glass tinkle that runs through Markus Nicolai's "Dimbied. Shake" to the eye-popping scratch noises and sultry spoken Spanish vocals of Narcotic Syntax's "Merenguerilla." The low-end tones of Baby Ford & Zip's "Windowshopping" — human pulse, droplets of sub-bass, what sounds like church-bell samples subjected to Black Sabbath-level detuning — offset clipped high-hat sweeps and a repeated female chhh. Meanwhile, the undulating piano figure and cathedral door-slam of Akufen's "The Unexpected Guest" could occupy the background of an Anne Rice novel. ?

You may never want to see daylight again.