Fans of Jason Forrest who only really know him from his albums on Sonig will probably be a bit surprised to hear "Panther Tracks", his first full-length in 3 years. Instead of classic rock and disco samples, with occasional avant-garde, glitch and musique concrete elements, this album is 45 minutes of pure hi-NRG rave acid flashback.
Those of us who have been religiously following his work since the Advanced D&D With Donna Summer show started broadcasting on WFMU in 2002, however, probably won't be as surprised. Since the last Jason Forrest album, 2005's "Shamelessly Exciting", his music has been increasingly influenced by all sorts of varieties of hardcore party music. His label, Cock Rock Disco, released a series of white label 12"s emphasizing the gabber/breakcore/rave side of their output, each containing scratch samples of Hoover basslines from old rave records. The label has also been posting several free albums and mixes on their site, including an oldschool jungle mix from Dev/Null, and 2 DJ Donna Summer mixes, which touches upon jumpstyle, Baltimore club, French electro-house, gabber, Japanese trancecore, booty house, and all points in between.
So "Panther Tracks", then, is a culmination of all of these influences, resulting in an album that will probably scare off hipsters and leave anyone who raves too hard for their own good in a frenzy. The album leads off with "Rock Rock Rock", which combines stompy beats, rave stabs and Flavor Flav samples. (The track has already spawned a 13-track remix album, downloadable for free on the Cock Rock Disco site, and throws synth-pop, electro, dubstep, punk, and hyper DDR-core into the mix.) After this track, the album kicks into high gear, throwing in plenty of samples from early '90s raves (one track is even named after oldschool jungle group Ratpack), lots of helium-voiced divas, and piano breakdowns. Some of the other tracks, such as "Boomshakalaka" and "Such Language", are slightly slower and sample ghettotech, booty house and Baltimore club (Rod Lee and DJ Technics are mentioned in the liner notes), along with the rave breaks and stabs. The album, as with all of Forrest's work, is edited with extreme precision, and even if this album is different from his other works in that all the tracks maintain a constant tempo, it's still eclectic, unpredictable, and over all, a ridiculous amount of fun. 9/10 -- Paul Simpson (29 April, 2008)