UK's kings of tech-house, Toolroom Records, compile the best 33 beats of the year on this extensive and seriously pumping best of, available either as two separate full-length mixes by Toolroom residents George Andrews and Gina Star, or as separate tracks for the DJs out there. Showstoppers from the collection include Fedde Le Grand's mix of Coldplay's "Paradise", Copyright's mix of Todd Terry's classic "Babarabatiri", Paul Thomas' "Ultraviolet" and Doomwork's excellent "Ram Bam". Label boss Mark Knight also makes a strong showing with the funky mainroom of "Yalta Groove" - just one of many house-shaped dancefloor destroyers available on this compilation.
This compilation starts with a remix by Jay Lumen of Kevin Saunderson's classic "The Sound". It bodes well for the rest of the compilation as Saunderson is one of the architects of tech house (or techno house), which in its earliest form blended the force of techno with house's soul. From that starting point, the compilation delivers, tracky sample-heavy house (Bontan's "Gadgets & Buttons"); chord-heavy workouts (Nicole Moudaber's remix of Sharam Jey's "Shake Your") and the mid-90s NY-style tough grooves of Doorly's "Ladies Night". Best of all though are the unexpected fusions and the dark techno bass and soulful garage vocal of Harry Romero's "Find Your Own Beat" shows tech house can still surprise and excite.
Here's a rather epic proposition: a 33-track collection from Toolroom that not only boasts 32 classic, little known and unheard remixes from the label's vaults, but also a CD-length bonus mix. With tracks seemingly taken from the entirety of the label's existence to date, there are plenty of forgotten gems - think remixes by D Ramirez, Funk D'Void, Full Intention, and Copywright - as well as inspired reworks from such contemporary heroes as Dusky (a suitably reverential rub of Cloud 9's 1993 US garage classic "Do You Want Me Baby"), Tensnake (a typically touchy-feely rework of Jake Island) and Doorly (a bouncy UK bass-house interpretation of Steve 'Silk' Hurley's "Jack Your Body").
Whether you throw like a girl or like a man, we all know the most important thing is being able to catch - a skill that's essential throughout the duration of this slick sonorous compendium from Peppermint Jam. Exploring their extensive catalogue for their most relentless, nagging workouts, Peppermint Jam have compiled an array of cuts that surge with sonic infection. From Sharam Jey's pumping, spiked out electro twist of Warren G to the deep filtered loops and cosmic overtones of Selected Works' "Weekender" via Disco Darling's insistent thuds on Ron Carroll's "The Only Way Is Up", Peppermint Jam's ability to curate a consistent collection is currently impeccable. A must for all groove catchers.
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