1 min

Fresh start stumbles

We wanted more from Calderone

ECHO CHAMBER. Victor Calderone's latest is missing his star-powered remixes. Credit: Xtra files

The first track, “What Awae Wanna,” seems to set the tone for Resonate, the third album by the straight DJ/producer Victor Calderone. The track – a fusion of African tribal rhythms and trippy progressive beats, quite brilliant in its simplicity – isn’t what you’d expect from the master remixer, which bodes well for the rest of the CD.

But this is where the brilliance ends. The first half of the CD sounds exactly like his old Roxy sets from 1999, which isn’t to say it’s particularly nasty but I’d expect more from his third album.

The last half of Resonate kicks off with one of his own tracks called “Deep Dark Jungle,” a track like many here, which uses vocals sparingly. When vocals do appear, it’s all about looping them.

Calderone is one of those rare DJs who has a sizeable straight and gay fan base, allowing him to play progressive clubs as well as circuit parties (though his popularity with the gay scene peaked in 2001). His particular sound meshes tribal and progressive without the usual amount of hands-in-the-air gay anthems, yet is still able to sound sexy and dark. Drama breaks, pioneered by Junior Vasquez, have become one of his remix trademarks.

Resonate doesn’t sound as new and different as some of his top- selling remixes and it’s too bad some of his newer remixes weren’t included here. Calderone’s career went into orbit with his work on Madonna’s “Frozen” and “Ray Of Light” and continued with the brilliant reworking of Sting’s “Desert Rose.” This summer he just completed his 10th remix for Madonna, a new one for Sting and a very original take on one of the year’s hottest bands, Goldfrapp. None of these superstars appear on Resonate, limiting its appeal to only to his hardcore fans.


Victor Calderone.

Statrax. $27.99.