Scottish DJ Calvin Harris isn’t exactly an innovator. He’s more like a craftsman — one with a deep Rolodex and an egalitarian streak. Harris, like his only real compatriots, Deadmau5 and David Guetta, is in great part responsible for the recent mainstreaming of electronic dance music. His collaboration with Rihanna, the behemoth hit “We Found Love,” (included here, in all its mopey/ecstatic awesomeness) is to EDM crossover songs what T-Rex was to dinosaurs.
On “18 Months,” a compendium of tracks created by the DJ and often made famous by other people, Harris’s beats are basic and repetitive, which is different than saying they’re bad. There’s a giddy urgency to even his middling material and a heavy reliance on collaborations. Not counting an ill-fated teaming with LMFAO (hey, a guy’s gotta eat), Harris shows impressive if unadventurous taste, and most of his partners on “18 Months” fall into three basic categories: