Adam Freeland / Various Back to Mine

Adam Freeland is a well-known and respected DJ across the universe and this Back to Mine mix disc shows just how he adheres to the idea that it’s the DJ who controls the music and no one else. Such integrity is admirable, but what Freeland has attempted with this compilation doesn’t quite have the impact I’m sure he was aiming for. Usually more dance-oriented, the Back to Mine series showcases the arsenal a DJ uses and for this project Freeland has amassed a number of records representing his interest in rock’n’roll. It’s nothing new for a DJ to make such a bold move like this on a mix disc, but here it takes only the second track to prove this is merely an outlet for Freeland’s love of rock. Trail of Dead’s "Will You Smile Again For Me” follows a brief intro to kick things off in a rather grandiose manner, but its awkward tempo shifts flow poorly into Autolux’s "Turnstile Blues.” From there, Interpol, TV on the Radio and Ambulance Ltd meld together without any real effect, setting the tone for this messy amalgamation that ends with M83, Trans Am and Boards of Canada. Oddly enough, it’s the highly irregular move of throwing an Elliott Smith cut — the compelling "Needle in the Hay” — into the mix that is most effective, but by that point Freeland’s mix has completely lost the plot. Rock-based mixes are hard to pull off and this is a prime example of how not to do it. (DMC)