Album Review by Mark Bayross
Despite the fact that he’s been storming the European and US clubs for years in a variety of incarnations (Kinetic ATOM, Orinoko) and with a barrage of killer tracks (MAMA KONDA, ECLIPSE, DER SCHIEBER), this is actually the German DJ’s first album as a fully-fledged artist.
His retrospective last year, MUSIC FOR THE MAASES, collected together many of his ‘wet n’ hard’ classics and went on to sell 60,000 copies, while his mix album for Perfecto, CONNECTED, shifted a further 50,000 copies. However, LOUD, co-written and produced with his studio partner Martin Buttrich, is Timo’s first album proper and sees him make a concerted bid to establish himself as a recording artist in his own right.
The album opens with the first of a number of collaborations, the soulful, string-laden HELP ME with Kelis on vocals, then motors on through a range of styles, taking in everything from house to downbeat to rock. tracks like MANGA, THAT’S HOW I’VE BEEN DANCIN and OLD SKOOL VIBES have plenty of big beat thump to get the pulse racing, while the blissed-out HASH DRIVEN, HARD LIFE and the obligatory ambient closer BAD DAYS take things to the opposite end of the scale.
Other collaborations include the eighties-style breakdance funk of SHIFTER (featuring garage MC Chickaboo), the bleeps-and-poetry (courtesy of Hope Recordings’ Leon Alexander) of WE ARE NOTHING and the trippy Finlay Quaye-sung CARAVAN.
Judging by the success of his recent single, the rocking TO GET DOWN (here in all it’s bass-shaking glory), there’s more than enough room in the charts for another Norman Cook, and UBIK is included to remind us that Mr Maas has been turning out chart-friendly beats for a while now. Nonetheless, the stand out track for me is the seven minute long LIKE LOVE, a colossal collision of dark, Prodigy-style strings and hard, driving trance.
I find it hard to see how LOUD can fail. At over an hour long, it pushes all the right crossover buttons and is bound have something to please everyone. Truly music for the Maases.