Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Rabbit in the Moon - Decade

I still remember the first time I heard a Rabbit in the Moon track. I was at a dark, sweaty, overheated rave in Toronto in 1995. Sometime after 2 a.m. Tim Patrick (?) dropped Humate/Rabbit in the Moon's East. It fit into his trance set very well, but it was unlike the other tracks. It stood out because of its unusual breakdown. Instead of being a simple beatless interlude that ends with a big snare drum roll, the breakdown was broken up with breakbeats. But there was still a big snare roll, and right when it hit its peak and should have burst into pounding beats, it didn't. Instead, I was left hanging with high-pitched strings and a little bit of acid in the background. But the acid built, the snares came back in again, and after a furious build, the track then resumed. It was pretty awesome. Two months later I learned it was Rabbit in the Moon's Southern Stimulation remix. It's been become an all-time trance classic since then, and probably their second-most popular release.

It's been a while, and after a number of singles, a lot of remixes of people like Sarah McLachlan, Goldie, Smashing Pumpkins and others, Bunny and David Christophere have released Decade, a cd/dvd compiling old and new tracks from their career together.

The cd contains 12 tracks, covering trance, breakbeats and even some industrial-tinged ebm. It's a good selection, with many great tracks, including Timebomb, Dubassex, Deeper, and a cover version of David Bowie's Let's Dance. It's a great sampling of what they can do.

Their most famous track, O.O.B.E. (Out of Body Experience) is here, as a hidden track after Decade. I assume that after all these years, the Tori Amos samples still haven't been cleared.

On the DVD, you get all the tracks on the cd, except for O.O.B.E., plus a few short tracks to link them together. The videos come in two varieties: live concert footage and regular videos. (In a few of the tracks, they mix these two kinds of footage together.)

I was a little unimpressed by the first half of the dvd. The videos didn't always do the tracks justice. The images are somewhat 'standard' rave-o-fractal computer graphics from the 90s.

But the final 20 minutes of the dvd are tremendously exciting. This comprises "Let's Dance", reimagined as a fight for freedom, "O.B.E.", "God Shiva", and finally "Decade", which is a fantastic ending. Bunny is a great onstage cheerleader, much in the same vein as Keith from Prodigy. That ending more than made up for the slower first half.

Every Rabbit in the Moon should have this, because it's good, and because these tracks aren't easy to find anywhere, or are brand new. For people new to RITM, I can't think of a better place to start.

It went on sale yesterday.