Timo Maas | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Remixes are dance music's common currency, but rarely does one version redefine both the track it tweaks and the genre it works in. Dusseldorf trance producer Timo Maas's "Club Mix" of Azzido da Bass's obscure "Dooms Night" did just that, though. Maas combined a turbocharged, gleefully evil woob-woob bass riff, an easy-riding synth glide, and crunchy breakbeats for a sound he refers to as "percussive wet funk"; the track was not only a trance hit but a favorite of everyone from two-step garage DJs (it opens Warner ESP's Pure Garage II mix compilation) to Jamaican dancehall jocks. Music for the Maases, the remix collection that followed, is full of tracks just as beefy and smart as "Dooms Night," but last year's Loud, a full-on artist album, fell somewhat short, despite great moments like the spooky "Help Me," featuring R & B singer Kelis, and the glimmering "Shifter," featuring MC Chickaboo. The new remix collection Music for the Maases 2 (Kinetic) stumbles out of the gate with a pair of rushed, overly commercial tracks (Kelis's sped-up vocals on Maas's remix of "Young Fresh and New" are especially uncomfortable), but soon enough Maas is strutting his stuff, slowing down and spreading out Starecase's "See" with a pixelated synth hook. His workovers of Moloko's "Familiar Feelings" and Moby's "We Are All Made of Stars" (its vocal treated with a processed-ghoul effect) top the originals. And despite the snooziness of the 2001 mix set Connected, Maas is as good a live DJ as there is right now. Friday, April 25, 11 PM, House of Blues, 329 N. Dearborn; 312-923-2000.

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