Various Artists – Toxic – 3LP – Because Music – 2005 – France “Toxic” was a party in France around the mid 2000s. Founded by electronic duo “The Reanimators” (DJ’s Solo & Uncle O), this party played a wide variety of genres from 80’s – industrial / post punk / hip hop / electro to current indie / electronic / house music. I tried doing some research to see if the party was still active, but their website was down and I couldn’t really find much anything else to confirm. I wish I was able to check one of these nights out. A curated eclectic mix of drum machines, grooves, hip hop, noise, and funk make Toxic a surprisingly slept on compilation from the French label, Because.
“Toxic” starts off with a low-end heavy downtempo cut from the brain-trust duo themselves, The Reanimators. “Toxic Bird Cage” is a gritty hip hop cut w/ some vocoders over the top. The next batch of tracks are hip hop instrumentals from Jel (Anticon) & Beans (Antipop Consortium). “The Livestock” by Jel carry’s over the lo-fi sound of the track prior, but this track is much funkier with his chosen guitar & horn samples. “Bubonic” by Beans originally had raps over it, but the compilation chose to feature the instrumental version. It gets more left of center and is much more electronic in feel with its synth stabs and laser sound effects. The Fearless Four take it to full on 80’s electro b-boy jam on that ass with “F-4000”. Old school-style scratches over a steady drum machine beat & vocoder raps? You can’t go wrong.
Next is another instrumental hip hop cut from Masta Killa of the legendary Wu Tang Clan. Again, some vocoders come into play on “Digi Warfare”, but the beat is much more modern in feel. It’s also eerier with a more cinematic sound. The pace picks up with modern uptempo tracks from the likes of The Juan MacLean, Antipop Consortium, & Jackos. It then turns around and heads back to the 80’s with some post punk from The Royal Family & The Poor, a lesser known act on Factory Records. The punk-funk sounds of New York’s ESG follows with their track “Bam-Bam Jam”. Spain’s Esplendor Geometrico follow up with an amazing proto-industrial-synth track in “Moscu Esta Helado”, which is also performed in Spanish. Another standout, “Someone Like You” by Swedish band Revl9n follows, which is as perfect a blend of indie dance rock. It’s still as catchy now as it was then. The compilation rounds out with a string of quality electro style cuts from the likes of Maggotron, Justice and Dabrye.
As a whole, this compilation represents what the “Toxic” party was all about- musical diversity. To play it from beginning to end is probably how a “Toxic” set sounded and it seems like a true testament to how varied a modern music fans collection may be. Someone send us a message and tell us if this party still goes down.