by Hobey Echlin
Neither really "ghetto" nor "tech," this compilation of neo-electro, booty, jungle and instrumental hip hop from a cross section of Detroits newer (if lesser known) electronic producers embodies more the spirit than the sound of the citys ghetto-tech scene. Where ghetto-tech has become synonymous with Detroits often raunchy booty (or, more PC, "electro-bass") sound, this compilation isnt just a low-end workout. Instead it takes a more high-minded route to consider the genres and styles that ghetto-techs rock-the-party utility demands.
As such, this compilation, put together mix-disc style such that each track flows into the next is more an artists showcase than a DJ showcase, and its just as well. DJ Reclooses stellar opener, "Nalgas," is its own little micromix of styles (electro, breakbeat and jazz), all in one rushing, constantly re-forming rhythm collision. Likewise, technocrat Sean Deason contributes a dark epic of a drum n bass track, "Trevors Rainbow," that pushes the boundaries of his native techno to offer a vision of where the genre could he heading.
Straight-up, mix-show-approved ghetto-tech is well represented, even if the genres dual kingpins dont command center stage. DJ Godfathers robotic "Chemical Warfare" is pure clunk-funk retro-electro, while DJ Assaults "Crank This Mutha" is hardly he and producer Ade Manors best ghetto track (that, of course, is the sublimely simple "Ass N Titties"). Only DJ Omegas "Shake That Thang" is a recognizable mix show staple.
That said, Comin makes a fluid case that the new chapter(s) of the Detroit sound are as scattered as they are funky, from Aux 88 founder Keith Tuckers wriggling electro workout "Face Your Fate" to DJ Shortstops goodtime tech-step "Finger on the Trigger." Minus the raunch and rumpus, Comin From Tha D compiles more than it compels at times. But at 16 tracks deep with its hip hop and jungle change-ups, it does so better than any single disc of Detroit-based artists in the last 10 years.
And in a city that often finds its prime movers splintered into minor fiefdoms of their own labels and minor hits, thats saying and doing something about it. Lucky for Detroit listeners, moving behinds is still the most important part of it.