Review: Compost Black Label, Compost Records' house and tech house sub-label release the fourth volume in its mix series. Again compiled and mixed by one of the imprint's newest acts, Volume 4 aims to represent the sound of the label right now. This time, rising star Show B is on hand to guide us through the sounds and moods of the Compost Black Label Series via 16 tracks that feature the likes of Peter Kruder, Solomun, Tiefschwarz and Jay Shepherd.
Mathias Shober, known to you and me as Harry Klein resident Show B, only made his debut last year but has quickly forged a sound that has won him favour amongst DJs, clubbers and the press alike. The perfect man to take us on this journey of the label, he currently runs the weekly Compost Black Label Sessions radio show with Thomas Herb. His skills as a DJ are well known too, but he kicks off this compilation with an exclusive of his new track, "Jammin." It sets the record away with some slow, deep and groovy house music before Jay Shepherd takes us into a more reflective and emotive mood with his remix of "Merging." Solomun hits a vintage sound with his glimmering "Somebody's Story," Afrilounge find a delightfully dubby sentiment on their remix of Shahrokh Sound Of K?s "Letting You Go" and sheer club moments come from Peter Kruder's "Before Night Falls," Roberto Rodriguez?s deep epic "Too Late" and Tiefschwarz's remix of Turntablerocker.
This instalment of the series showcases the label?s sound through one of its most promising producers. From moody, late night house, funky percussion, jacking beats, jazzy chords and deep bass, Show B captures the colour, soul and depth that the Berlin label has typified since its conception.
Review: By his usually prolific standards, Mladen Solomun has been pretty quiet of late. There was only one single in 2012, and this is his first of 2013. It's a particularly bold effort, lacing a powerful vocal over shuffling snares, bubbling synths and murky low-end chords. The vocal definitely falls into the Marmite category; while some will love it, others will be turned off. For the record, there's a vocal-free dub, which abandons the singing in favour of more hustling darkness. The final version, the Summer Began Mix, makes more use of the original vocal hook ("summer just began and I don't want it to end"), while stretching out the grooves to 10 epic minutes.
Review: Solomun has made a virtue out of releasing melodic house music and his latest record is no exception. That said, "Medea" marks a shift of sorts; over a pulsing, tunnelling groove and rolling drums, he introduces dramatic melodic sweeps, the kind that you'd hear on old techno-trance record on Harthouse or Music Man. The title track sees him revert to type, with sensuous pads and acid-tinged melodic hooks dropped over heavy claps. To add to the sense of drama, he delivers an operatic vocal sample as the break down nears. There's also a "strings only" beatless version for those who want to appreciate Solomun's sense of melody away from the dance floor.
Review: Diynamic head honcho Solumun's new track "Customer Is King" is soon to be featured as part of a long rumoured collaboration with Rockstar Games - creators of Grand Theft Auto. It's a melodic tech house anthem that's sure to rock all the main room dancefloors at superclubs this summer. For something more evocative and journey like, try "Dre" which is perfect for those heads-down moments under the strobe light, and the fierce "Ich Muss Los" which is sure to cause some proper 'tunnel vision' on this slinky, progressive house styled groove - and will be great in sync with the lasers and the smoke machine.
Review: Arriving just in time to soundtrack the Juno lunch hour in the sunshine is this three track excursion from Diynamic boss Solomun to launch the 2DIY4 offshoot. Borne mostly out of Damian Lazarus' unbounded enthusiasm for a previous and similarly cheeky production, Solomun's efforts here will no doubt find favour amongst the Hot Natured & Soul Clap fans. "Love Recycled 1's" melodic bump will be familiar to fans of both yacht rock and 90s g funk - riding the Michael McDonald hook that formed the backbone of Warren G's "Regulate" - let's call it an unfortunate coincidence that this should finally see release soon after the untimely death of Nate Dogg. As immediately gratifying as that is, the real gold here is on "Love Recycled 2", which craftily uses Curtis Mayfield's delightful vocals over a delicately paced rhythm that's propelled by warm swelling bass.
Watergate 11 (continous DJ mix) - (1:18:12) 118 BPM
Review: There's a big change in approach on the latest Watergate mix. Gone are the stripped back minimal house grooves or nouveau deep house sounds that had prevailed on previous mixes. In their place come tracks that show Solomun's love of funk, r&b and hip-hop. Alliance Ethnik's "Respect" sets the tone with its slinky groove and hip-house style call and response vocal, while Lucy Pearl's "Don't Mess With My Man" is cut from a similar cloth, its vocal funk signalling an end to linear rhythms. Solomun himself has taken inspiration from this 90s sound and his own "Kackvogel" is all hushed vocals and slick r&b bass. The mix also features the timeless Cologne techno-pop of Heiko Voss' "I Think About You", remixed by DJ Koze.