Reviewing dance music in the comfort of one’s own home is a specious exercise at best. Even more than other genres, dance music, and particularly electronic music, is made with a purpose in mind: to get bodies on the dance floor, to grease the wheels for social interaction, to provide the preliminary backdrop for eventual procreation. Given this criterion for success, Lot 49 Presents Lee Coombs is a smashing success. His selections deliver beats, hooks and enough loops to keep any of us on the floor long enough to transact the important business of mass socialization.
This is not to say that there is nothing but a good time to be found in Coombs’ choice in beats. After a basic beginning, he makes a couple of stops in the familiar tech-funk genre but then goes straight techno with the exquisitely German “Zum Goldenen Hanschuh.” Coombs goes on to assemble a murderers’ row of beats, with hits provided by the likes of DJ Icey, Unkle, Dopamine and Elite Force. The different sounds could be disorienting, but Coombs is able to shift the focus away from genre jumping and more on the eminently danceable beats.
At its simplest, electronica can be distilled to little more than noise repeated at regular intervals over a beat. Though this type of dance music will probably get the job done, there is little to appreciate when craft is forgotten totally in favor of function. This is where Coombs separates himself from the scores of other DJs repeatedly putting out the same beats. Coombs’ choices for the compilation, while fulfilling all the necessary requirements for dance music, has the added benefit of being enjoyable away from the promise of the packed dance floor.