Scratch Massive - Naked

These days BlackPlastic is constantly inundated with emails asking, "What is absolutely the best mix album to be released this year?". Just this week a total of three have fallen through our
letter box.

Now whilst BlackPlastic appreciates that everybody else is rather busy selling you the merits of New Jack Swing due to its use of soulful harmonies combined with sheer attitude, sometimes you can't go wrong with a bit of French house. Cue Scratch Massive, French dons of rock influenced house (or should that be the other way round?), releasing the rather enjoyable Naked mix, recorded live in some club in France, not a pure house record you might argue. And you would be right, but who wants something so predictable anyway?

The mixing may at times be a little cut 'n' shut but it is very hard to fault an album with such fantastic music on it. From the first track, Pixeltan's 'Get Up/Say What', everything is killer. Dieter Schmidt's 'Morse Code From the Cold War' is so digi-cool that BlackPlastic wants to turn into a series of noughts and ones, whilst the two minutes of acid that Soldout's 'I Don't Want To Have Sex With You' subjects you to are almost certainly the most exciting thing that will happen to your stereo this year.

Moving on, you'll find Soulwax's 'NY Excuse', the only Soulwax tune that was a Nite Version before Nite Versions existed, and 4 Hero's ridiculous 'Mr Kirk's Nightmare Energize 96', a song that obviously pre-dates Dego discover subtlety or soul. !!! (that's "chk chk chk" to you, damn fool!) get cut-up on our arses in the form of 'Intensidifier Sunraccapellelectroshit mix 03', a song that is pretty much as "out there" as the title suggests, and by the fourth minute it is twice as good as anything they've released since 'Me And Giuliani Down By The School Yard (A True Story)'. Scary title of the album award goes to Out Hud, with 'Put It Away, Put It Away, Put It Away, Dad', featuring a vocal that is almost too pitched up to be comprehendible but sounds like a voice saying, somewhat disturbingly, "no, noo, noooo, nooooo". WhoMadeWho do there silly cover thing that they are, since this year's 'Satisfaction', increasingly becoming known for, in the form of 'Flat Beat'.

Scratch Massive even play two of their own songs, albeit in a remixed state, in the form of the Sex Schon mix of 'Make It High' and the fantastic break mix of 'Girls on the Top', the pair of which playfully twirl in-and-out of each other. Huntemann samples the Beastie Boys on 'Bodyrockin'' and throws in a filthy and dark bassline. By Naked's close everything has gone completely bonkers, with Death In Vegas' 'So You Say You Lost Your Baby', featuring Paul Wellar on vocal duty (an offense BlackPlastic will let slide this one time), being chased off by Nina Hagen on 'Naturträne', a punk-opera to finish things off properly. Indeed.

Anyway, what are you doing? Go and buy it, it's the best compilation of the past twelve months... at least!

Amazon don't stock this, but you can get it from Play here.