Parisian Jennifer Cardini submits a subtle, diverse, compelling release with her sophomore mix CD, this time on Cologne-based Kompakt Records. Perhaps her advantage here is an outsider’s perspective as a techno DJ not currently residing in Berlin, or even Germany for that matter. She deftly sidesteps the French resurgence of squelchy Daft Punk imitators. Instead, her set tip-toes among the U.K. bass engine of dubstep, German hyper-club minimal trends, the retrospective purity of dub and Detroit techno. She touches down in an earthy middle ground that recalls the raw funk of classic Chicago house and roots it out in a broad range of selections that effectively span time, style and geography.
Cardini does a near-flawless job of interweaving contemporary standouts with their predecessors; Maurizio’s instantly recognizable “M-04,” a seminal dub-techno groove from the Basic Channel back catalog, flows intuitively into Daniel Stefanik’s sleek rework of Lawrence’s “Place to Be.”
Later, the contemporary Compuphonic & Kolumbo’s “Emotion” and False’s “Fed On Youth” sandwich Peter Ford’s sultry remix of “The Vineyard” from a decade earlier. Throughout her set, she moves purposefully from techno to house to synth-pop to rock using almost constantly metamorphosing songs, melodies and programming while maintaining a brooding, groovy, late-night feel. Feeling Strange is no stranger to the nightclub mind-set: It proves that whatever the season, there’s no shortage of excitement and beauty in the dark.