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Various Artists Too Hot for Solid Steel

Is Too Hot For Solid Steel the ultimate mash-up, or the ultimate DJ-culture political statement? It would be easy to argue both points, but there's something much more gleeful going on here.

On a basic level, Too Hot is a fine example of mash-up-that curiously broad music genre where bits of a recognizable nostalgic pop song are mixed with an equally recognizable dance beat to form an ironic concoction; i.e. a Nirvana hit mixed over a Run DMC drum sample.

Crafted by the deft hands of DJs On Strike's Johnny Kawasaki and DJ Suspence, Too Hot bears all the marks of protean mash-up masters Coldcut and DJ Food-for whose Solid Steel radio show it was originally produced-including quizzical cuts from TV shows, pop and R&B anthems of yore, and a gazillion other sound samples. All this fodder is, ostensibly, collated through rough sequencing and a little turntable magic to produce a sound-collage you simultaneously recognize but don't recognize. A funky '70s break collides with Phil Collins's "Tonight," then glances off Berlin's Top Gun love anthem "Take My Breath Away," only to run head-on into the front grill of Bryan Adams's sap-fest, "I Do It For You." And that's in just under a minute.

Too Hot's easily on par with LA-UK collective Mash Up Sound System (who recently released D.I.M, a gem of a gabbercore compilation) or the original perpetrators of the genre, Planet

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