Dmitri From Paris A Night at the Playboy Mansion

Anyone who heard Dmitri From Paris's Sacrebleu, his 1998 pastiche of '60s soul done with Japanese-style, sampledelica and French lounge pop recognise his knack for silly, giddy kind of pop hedonism. Conceptually, at least, this new album is a collection of remixes spun at a party at the command centre of silly, giddy hedonism, the Playboy Mansion. It's hard to imagine Hef actually shaking his money-maker to high-energy house and updated, brainlessly frothy disco, but there's a logic at work here, too - I've rarely heard the kinship between disco and house so vividly illustrated. Disco was usually a thin-blooded version of funk with the bottom end mixed down, gimmicks layered on top and endlessly self-referential lyrics, but that was capable of dizzying heights. Dmitri fattens up the bottom end of both, importing the infectious bass licks of disco into the monotonous backbeats of house and sparing no studio effect to update the disco nuggets he dusts off from the late '70s. Much of this album reminds me of why people wore "Disco Sucks" T-shirts, or why so much house bores me senseless. But there are inspired moments, particularly a remix of disco obscurities the Originals' "Down To Love Town," which did little to raise the bar of disco lyricism, but manages to rival the Trammps' "Disco Inferno" as a disco epic, and a wicked re-rendering of Stetsasonic's "Talkin' All That Jazz." It really is the perfect soundtrack to an eve at the Playboy Mansion. Take that as praise or criticism, as you will. (Astralwerks)