What better way to celebrate a decade in business than by getting Chicago deep house legend Larry Heard to select and mix a double-disc compilation of label highlights? Hats off, then, to Rebirth, who managed to persuade Mr Fingers himself to deliver his first commercially available DJ mix. As you'd expect from both label and DJ, it's a wonderfully atmospheric and melodious affair, with Heard selecting and blending emotion-rich tracks and mixes from Chromatic Filters, Bocca Grande, NuFrequency, Tevo Howard, Motor City Drum Ensemble and James Teej. The first disc, in which Heard races through 28 tracks in just over 70 minutes, is particularly memorable.
Guy J's progressive house roots shine through on this first contribution to the Balance series. It's not just the sound - occasionally downtempo, always atmospheric and sometimes deliciously dreamy - but also his choice of tunes; each of the 13 tracks has been reconstructed or re-edited by the experienced Israeli producer. While this would be seen as self-indulgence in others, it gives the mix a coherence and fluidity that's never less than attractive. Wisely, he mixes it up throughout, flitting between dreamy deepness (Juan Deminicis), trippy dancefloor intensity (his edit of Radio Slave's version of APM 001's "Migrants"), picturesque goodness (Nevar's "Phases of Grief") and darting, melodic techno (Echomen).