Dance – Keller Williams
SCI Fidelity Records 1013
The DJ/remix phenomenon may be one that is overstaying its welcome in the
jamband community. When it once allowed for exciting musical marriages (the
differences between organic instrumentation and a studio whiz's arsenal of
synthetic sounds begged to be merged if only because they exist on opposite
sides of the sonic spectrum), it has now become overused, less than inspired
and, in the worst cases, an embarrassment to both those who originally
created the music and the electronic knob tweakers.
Keller Williams' Dance falls in with the latter. In premise, the disc
supposed to be 12 remixes from last year's Laugh. In reality, it often
more like the remnants of the talented acoustic guitarist and a friend's
stoned evening with an iMac.
The techno beats and samples Williams and conspirator Jeff Covert use to
propel these tunes are generic at best. Nothing here's going to inspire
dancing. As a matter of fact, nothing here is going to inspire much of
anything. Williams' unusual and exciting approach to acoustic guitar playing
is barely evident anywhere and if it weren't for his vocals, which are
generally sampled into repeated bursts, you wouldn't know it was a Keller
album at all. It's an interesting, and not completely sensible, approach
considering Williams' style of picking should be natural fodder for a
project such as this one.
Some songs maintain a semblance of their Laugh roots (the opening
sticks close to form of its counterpart "Freeker by the Speaker) while
others aren't at all recognizable.
Bassist Tye North and drummer Dave Watts (Williams' accompanists on
provide the base for which the remixers to have fun. It's too bad Williams
and Covert are the only ones smiling. Flutes, tablas and throat singing
freely enter and exit the fray but ultimately, it's the beats that fail to
hold Dance together. All in all, this detour does neither Williams'
discography or the electronic music world much good.