The F train is stuck again. It’s clogged in a passageway like grease in a fat man’s artery. The conductor is mumbling a garbled message in some extraterrestrial language and a toddler is wailing one shrill, unbroken note. I’m squirming against the door, miserable, spent. Sometimes, this city seems calibrated to drive you to your breaking point, but this morning I have a cure. I flip over the iPod dial to Chuckmore: The Mix and drift off. I start nodding like a yesman, tapping along to the jerky syncopations. Soon, I’m even rocking out in the aisle, not giving a fuck if I ever make it to my stop.
The new mix from Vancouver-based DJ Chuck Dollarsign, Chuckmore is thirty-three minutes of insta-party—joyous, fun, breathlessly high-energy. It fits together flawlessly, sounding as organic as a carbon compound. That’s especially impressive when you consider just how many pitfalls a mix presents: digging up the best bits of your raw material, knowing how long to draw out your samples, intuiting when to tweak or switch up the tempo, having to accommodate the divergent tastes of the crowd. Dollarsign has a clear talent for rising to these challenges, serving up stretches that seem effortless.
Almost all electronic, the first third of Chuckmore relies on a baseline of big, visceral beats. But the mix doesn’t fully kick into gear until minute ten, when Dollarsign brings out the vocal samples. Suddenly, the sound gets even bolder and more engaging, masterfully flowing in and out in crescendos. It all builds up to the climactic twenty-first minute, a stunner of hiccupy synths, a caffeinated pulse and a sexy vocal line. It’s so club-ready you can practically see the flashing lights and taste the smoke machines. But Chuckmore's also the perfect soundtrack for warehouse parties, night drives and endless train rides, delivering the requisite jolt and bounce to make any moment an event.
You can download Chuckmore: The Mix here. And check out Chuck Dollarsign's Tumblr here.