Djedjtronic – Cruising

3 out of 5

Label: Central Processing Unit

Produced by: Jérémy Cottereau

On my first pass of Djedjtronic’s Cruising, it was nothin’ doing. Mileage will vary, I allowed, but the artist’s brand of club-ready beats – very 80s, very house – lacked a lot of spark to my ears. These were good ideas, half-heartedly applied: a fittingly glossy, late-night saunter on the title track; the bangin’ but limited Kraftwerk-y Celular; dark groove on Tunnel; they’re predictable, both in terms of the range of sounds used and when Djedj (Jérémy Cottereau) breaks or adds a little synth line. It reminded me of when I worked at a music store with a fan of rave-ready techno – the kind of stuff that was sold in compilation bins for cheap and was designed for putting on as background noize at parties – we’d be closing the shop, cleaning up, and it was their time to put on the music so on the techno would go, and it wasn’t bad but it was just entirely derivative and mindless. It was a different compilation each time, but it would very much blend together. After a few songs I’d have my fill, and that was the case with how Cruising was affecting me.

But just as, I’m sure, listening to that particular style of techno at length would’ve allowed me to hear differences that weren’t apparent, subsequent spins of Cruising opened it up a bit. It’s still very much plagued with a sense of predictability, but I also think that’s kinda by design: it is a club record, and Djedj has made some beats that are ready to be flashy-light danced to, ad nauseum, and with that in mind, my head bobs to the beat. All the same, it’s probably telling that all the tracks run through their ideas about halfway through their runtimes, and so perhaps I had an adverse initial reaction because the core beat of each cut is pretty solid – especially Celular and especially especially the grabbing Tunnel – so when these aren’t iterated on in any notable way, it’s a bummer. But maybe that’s all that’s needed out on ye ol’ dance floore.