DJ CAM: Substances

Columbia COL 485405-2
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The Independent Culture
The new universal language of techno has taken a firm hold in France, judging by the success of Daft Punk; but it's not completely restricted to oafish stomping, if DJ Cam's work is anything to go by. The tracks on Substances are just as minimal as Daft Punk's, but less urgent: the mood is meditative and hypnotic, rather than relentless, and the samples are mostly taken from jazz sources, with ruminative piano figures and soothing loops of vibes suspended in Cam's businesslike beats and string pads.

The constant presence of the warm, relaxed tones of acoustic double-bass imposes its own ambience on the pieces, while Cam's turntable scratches add a little detailed embroidery to the mixes where necessary, but never obtrusively so. When it works as well as on "Angel Dust" - where hand- drums and trickling water give way to flute, alto sax and a two-chord piano loop, and a speech sample prays for "peace and love and perfection" in the kind of voice that precludes derision - the effect is immensely pacific. Recommended.