Album: 6 Years of Hive
Label: Hive Audio
Release Date: 22/03/2012
Opening with Jan Blomqvist’s I Don’t Think About You, this compilation from the imprint offshoot of Zurich’s world famous Hive Club states its intention with purpose. A warm, melodic, vocal cut that’s as inviting as you like, it neither falls on the side of tough driving techno or sauntering, shuffling house, instead occupying that rarely discovered hinterland of music that’s perfectly poised to go either way.
From here David Keno’s I Know Now then takes things into techier directions, using lyrics as hooks and laying down a classic, bumbling organ baritone, sounding somewhere in between H.O.S.H. and Chaim. But don’t expect everything else on here to follow suit, as we veer between darkness and funk throughout the remaining eight tunes offered on the collection.
SIS, for example, takes things into percussion-heavy, moderately progressive directions on Ilkbahar, a cut that melds droning basslines and resonant drums with rolling beats and an overwhelming sense of atmosphere, the kind of thing that should make those on the dancefloor feel nice and disoriented. Hypnotic, repetitive, dark music that reminds us all why clubbing in its proper form is still a niche pursuit.
Matthias Meyer gets on a similarly confident tip, seemingly disinterested in taking prisoners. His track, Free Your Mind, isn’t obvious, and it doesn’t really do very much. Yet the wide-load kicks and feeling of continual build ensure that, when heard roaring out of a decent speaker stack, this is the epitome of stepping marching orders. Basslines wobble, cosmic warbles spiral off into inaudible distances and subtle pianos loop, whilst voices utter indecipherable messages and, as a result, the feet and head of any listener continue to move.
We close with Searchin from Niko Schwind, a vocal, e-funk house cut that’s got everything from a huge, late 80s diva chorus to equally gargantuan synth stabs, guitar licks, and snares a plenty. A far poppier tip compared with much of the preceding fare, it’s evidence of why Hive remains a label that can (and frequently) does find favour with DJs playing a wide range of genres. That said one common trait to be found in anyone with an interest in Switzerland’s finest would be an understanding that music doesn’t have to be obvious to work on a dancefloor and be memorable- it just needs to be as well conceived and deftly executed as everything on this collection.