3 out of 5

Label: Central Processing Unit

Produced by: DJ VLR (?), various

DJ VLR’s second mix of CPU tracks is, at points, the best thing you’ve ever heard, at least assuming you’re in to the label’s IDM- / 90s Sheffield-heavy output. But… once you’ve picked up on VLR’s main trick of introducing the dominant element from track B into track A, then cutting over, some of the magic dissipates, and this is before they start relying on some old school back-spins, and then flub a couple beats. I guess that makes it a more “organic” club mix, and that’s true, but I guess I’d rather a seamless listen than something that replicates the DJ spinning in front of me. That said, VLR does a good job of highlighting all this label goodness while also making CPU II quite a listen on its own: tracks are allowed to shine, but the cuts are down to two minutes mostly, which has a result of both keeping the groove quite alive, and / or making one very attentive, so that you can pick out some stuff you may want to follow up on and discover separately. I also appreciate that things are somewhat grouped together, from jittery cut-and-paste electro to more house stuff and etc., although the glitchy techno helps with VLR’s mixing style; it’s with the clubby stuff that those aforementioned flubs start to creep in; the midpoint of the mix isn’t as entrancing in that regard.

So: depending on what you’re looking for, this is quality background music, a reliable club mix, and also a great CPU sampler. As a standalone listen, I’d say it falls into the middling range of many mixtapes – this is more designed just to keep your head bobbing than anything else – but you get the added cool factor of bobbing your head constantly to some of CPU’s best acts / material.