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James F!@#$%^ Friedman

Go Commando
Defend Music

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Go Commando plays like a telegram to those who would doubt the vitality of New York City's post-electroclash club scene. To quote Tom Vek's contribution to indie-trash electro Renaissance man Friedman's exquisite mix, there appears to be "Nothing But Green Lights" between the heaving Big Apple and the future.

 

Friedman can proudly count himself as a primary contributor to that virile music scene. As host of APT's Refuse! nights and Tribeca Grand's All Wrong, Friedman has not only been a driving force on the indie electro-sleaze decks, but has brought about the live American debuts of two of 2005's wunderkinds: Norwegian smart-pop diva Annie and British dance-punk producer Tom Vek. Both are represented in fine form on Go Commando, with Vek's "Green Lights" providing one of the mix's most uplifting moments.

 

But in typical Friedman form, besides Vek's track, dance-punk moguls Out Hud's minor masterpiece "It's For You," remixes of Bloc Party and by The Rapture, there are less genre-defined picks: Ray Mang and Foolish Felix's housey dub "Who Said," PJ Pooterhoots' smorgasbord of scratch and blurp, "Milky Rippers," and Pittsburgh's most intriguing export, cinephile synth rockers Zombi, whose "Sapphire" provides Go Commando's gracious, widescreen finale.

 

While Friedman still bows to the chilling effect of beatmatching -- what, you wonder, might he have concocted if he'd allowed himself more abrupt changes? -- Go Commando's final product is entirely satisfying. Both as documentation of a moment in clubbing's cruelly quick history, and as 70 minutes of hedonistic electro-pop to fill car speakers between points A and B.

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