John B/Various _Brainstorm

Ever wondered what would happen if you mixed early '80s synth-pop, drum & bass, modern electro and trance? _Brainstorm is about as close are you're going to get. This 70-minute DJ mix by John B is an interesting journey that doesn't bounce between these different styles but actually blends them together at all times. The beats are fast but the dominant sound is old synths, mixed with some vocals provided by Libby Picken and Natalie Warren. Most of the tracks are John B's own, but there are a couple of outside contributions thrown in from the likes of Exile and Greg Packer. The mix itself is seamless, and begins with a very early '80s-style electro that could easily be mistaken for Ultravox or Visage. He even goes so far as to name check artists like the Human League and Howard Jones at one point. There are the obligatory (and annoying) deadpan lyrics, like "Look at my makeup, I am so pretty, I am, a celebrity," which seem to be a prerequisite for anything to be considered "electro." Nonetheless, this is a pretty intense and entertaining mix, and has enough of a groove to make it work. (Sound Gizmo)