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GU 20 -Darren Emerson: Singapore - "Jet Lag"

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CD1: “Ladies and Gentlemen we are now marked 16th for take off”

Emerson never truly gets of the ground with CD 1. As the Chelsea boys would say, “The boy stood too long in the kitchen and wasn’t cookin’ $#@%!”. There are some interesting tracks on the first CD though, experimental without blowing up the lab, Darren sheds light down some interesting paths but nothing overwhelming and nothing that makes your smile really last.

Track 1 & 2: This polka, Australian aborigine, Spanish, loopty loop mix, “Am I on the right flight?” It’s different for sure and not half bad but he sits on the track too long. Your in your seat, seatbelt on, looking at your watch – “I really hope this flight takes off on time.” Track 3: The groove is kicking a little bit, your looking around watching the other passengers take their seats, nothing too exciting, you’re wondering if you packed everything that you needed for this trip. Track 4: gets a little on the hard side, your head is bouncing a little, they close the door and your taxiing out to the runway. The flight is just a couple of minutes behind, no big deal. Let Darren get into his groove. But you really want him to get out of this Rock n’ Roll/dance track already.

Track 5: “Welcome aboard Global Underground Airlines, we value you as one of our loyal customers, unfortunately though we are marked 16th on the runway” - You grab for the magazine on the back of the seat in front of you. Reality is now setting in: your serotonin will not be affected for at least another 50 minutes or so -how annoying. Track 6: “Girl, shake dat ass and bounce those tit’s” Cute track but when did ’Ludacris’ do a track for a GU CD? At least there is some comic relief to this other wise uninspiring CD. Track 7 & 8: Yawn, you are now getting very sleepy. You find yourself killing time by counting how many planes are in front of yours and guessing when this CD will finally &%$#@! take off.

Track 9: Another bright light in an other wise musical abyss, some Kung-Fu verses over dance tracks ala Wu-Tang Clan and the Africa Bammbatta nature of it all provides some semblance of a treat. It gets you bouncing but you still have your seat belt on, but there is no need to really take it off yet. On Track 10 it’s back online with ’monotony.com’ until he puts some break beats 3 minutes into it. Again there is some bounce going on in your seat but it’s accompanied by yet another yawn. Because Chef Emerson decides he wants to bang on some pots and pans for Track 11 to offer another taste of indifference to your soul. You’re reaching threshold but you stay quit and seated like a good little passenger in hopes of finding that musical bliss that you know Emerson can provide.

Track 12: “We have just lost cabin pressure” As you wish another plane would just crash into yours just to drum up something resembling an event on this otherwise boring journey through the Land of GU 20. On Track 13: “I wonder how much it would cost to use the phones that they have on these planes”, a question among others, as you start to come half a millisecond away from yelling and then something interesting happens - the next track.

Track 14: you can start to feel the engines roaring, as you realize you are marked for take off, and boy is it about time already. After you have read your GU Airline Magazine from cover to cover, when you know how to exit in the case of an emergency, when you have the fan blowing in the right position, when you are done with your 5th pack of gum and your shoes are off - then it is time to prepare for take off. And as Track 14 goes to 15 you find yourself moving your head to the beat when you are suddenly hit with an obvious yet highly annoying reality-

“Hey kids welcome to your ‘Global Underground Read along Storybook’, when you hear this sound - “BING!” - that means turn to the next CD”.


CD 2: “We are going to try and make it there as soon as possible, folks”

Track 1 starts off and your already hitting turbulence- your flight is finally taking off – but the plane is already swaying. After sitting at the airport for the past 65 minutes you are at least off the runway but the take off is still bumpy - how annoying. Then goes Track 2: ”We are now climbing to an altitude of 25,000 feet, please notice that the seat belt sign is on, please remain in your seats, until it is safe to roam around” Your climbing baby and the previous track becomes a memory but the thought of the previous CD is still irritating.

By Track 4 your still climbing and it appears to be clear sky’s, your overlooking the water, realizing you still might make it there on time if the pilot cuts some corners and piggy backs on the jet stream…“This is your captain Darren Emerson speaking: Sorry for the delay on CD 1 we are still climbing as to avoid any further turbulence and delays, we will now be leveling off at about 30,000 feet - We will be handing out drinks and snacks shortly. I would like to welcome you to Global Underground Airlines and we hope you’ll fly us again -please relax and enjoy your flight”

Track 5 – you’re grooving already and you realize that the 17 or so bucks it costs to buy this ticket is now finally becoming worth it. You rationalize in your head that Darren must have eaten a little to close to taking his roll because he was not “ feeling it” until the 20th track. The delay you endured is now water under the bridge. Your getting into it and it feels good.

You definitely realize that by Track 6 your butt better have some room to dance because in a seat is not where you belong. Your heads starting to sway from side to side so damn much your hitting the other passengers.

By the beginning of Track 7 you know it’s worth it, you may get there late, you may be still pissed off that it’s taken so long but he’s playing catch up and the mellow sounds are being fused with more hard hits. ”Darren, say three Hail Mary’s and an Our Father and you will be forgiven….now go with God and make your GU fans proud”. End of Track 7: Mid-Atlantic turbulence strikes again ever so slightly -this free stylish track losses a few points for the other wise forgiven Emerson, but just add one more Hail Mary for him.

Track 8: Back to the groove, the shiver runs up your spin, awhh yeah -that shiver, you know which one I’m talking about, -he hits a mark, thanks Darren. Track 9 & 10: “We are now cruising at an altitude of 30, 000 feet, your captain has turned off the seat belt sign feel free to dance your butt off through out the cabin space” Track 11: Brings in that Latin/Brazilian Flava’ – Wheepa!!! And brings out the Papi Chulo in all of us: “Oye mi amore, que tu hace aqui, tu tan solita?” As you really start to feel the sweat poring down. Track 12: ‘Voices’ - last visited by Howells on his NuBreed set -an oldie but goodie, this original track goes back to at least ‘96 with some new versions coming out now. Darren throws a nice version as the flight attendants are passing out Red Bull with your complimentary blow pops and Big Red.

Track 13:Your still flying, your still smiling and then –the Tower losses the signal. Somebody please find the Black Box, the FAA has to figure out what happened to this flight! Someone call CNN - What’s with the ending?! Who pulled the plug?! Where’s the rest of the CD?! “The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist …..and like that, he’s gone”

Not a bad GU CD altogether –There is truly none to speak of when it comes to the GU series. Even the DeVit compilations have their moments (Rest in peace Brova'). Not every one can be a Tenaglia or a Kleinenberg -where you can just press play and let the sunshine in. Some shine for a few tracks and then mellow out. Some have weak CD’s but who’s following or previous ones were so great you forgive them (i.e. Anthony Papa, Sasha). There are CD’s that get their flare even when time has past -maybe Emerson’s first disc will be a great “while your driving“ CD. As for Darren’s second disc on this set: he tried, he shined a bit and I thank him for his efforts. Now on to Lee Burridge and those crazy Deep Dish boys.

-Alex Perez aka "Nlitnme

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