Years ago, many predicted the bursting bubble of EDM was immanent, though it wound up looking more like a slow migration than an EDM-pocalypse.
Which makes sense—many people get into electronic music by cornier routes. In the late ‘90s, they fell in love with trance, to find Sasha & Digweed, then Richie Hawtin and his DE909 album, before fully committing to the “underground.”
Career survivalists like David Guetta and Tiesto know this. They’ve constantly evolved to meet the needs of the marketplace. When the kids wanted trance, Tiesto gave them trance. When the kids wanted vocal house, Guetta gave them vocal house. Now, it looks like the kids want “authenticity”—they’re officially underground-curious, ready and willing to explore less-plastic styles of dance music in places like Los Vegas and beyond.
Enter Jack Back, the new album from David Guetta under his Jack Back alias. The name, of course, is derived at least partially from Chicago house. It’s also a reference to “Jack Is Back,” the Frenchman’s ill-fated naughties attempt at acid house.
Much like that song, the Jack Back Mixtape has all the elements of “authentic” house, acid and techno. Though like the rest of Guetta’s output—beyond his days playing French touch on a rotary mixer to crowds at the open-air Space Ibiza terrace in the ‘90s—it lacks soul, and an honest understanding of dance floors beyond his regular mega clubs or festivals.
It’s paint-by-numbers, house edition. Though you can likely expect to hear much more where that came from.