Artist: Various (Mixed by Paul Woolford)
Album: The Lab 04
Label: The Lab
Release Date: 18/06/2012
In music particular phrases and words are so overused hearing them is tantamount to not believing. Legends are apparently ten to the penny, with ground broken at almost every step of the way. So we’re either very, very lucky indeed to live in the 21st Century, or someone, somewhere, has been perfecting the art of spurious hyperbole.
That’s a big shame, as Paul Woolford’s latest compilation falls into the realm of ‘truly diverse’ mixes that ‘deserve to be double discs’… honestly. And yes, we know such a statement could easily be read as clichéd, but cutting to the chase his instalment of the rather consistent NRK series, The Lab, really is a game of two halves, with each as contemporaneous in sound as the other.
So various aspects of the dance gamut are presented in coherent, logically planned sets boasting all the progression you need. The first begins with some thoroughly disco-edged, funk-fuelled electro action via Ashley Beedle’s mix of Detroit Urban Gardening Ensemble’s Take Root, and Lando Kai’s lunging, bassy re-edit of Batman from Lazor Sword. Meanwhile, the second opens with more of a deep and dark, rolling flavour courtesy of Darn from Super Collider.
From here we visit numerous micro-canons of beats and bleeps, ensuring joint journeys of post dubsteppy futurism with rough and ready four fours, and dubby tech are presented on discs A and B respectively. With 30 tracks to go at it’s difficult to pinpoint outright highlights therein, especially as things are never heads down- the tunes here being tunes in the real sense.
Clearly though Untold’s delicate euphoria (Motion the Dance), Chez Damier’s Untitled retro string and brass stabs, and 2562’s metallic breakbeats (in his re-imagining of Skudge’s Convolution), all stand out in the first instance. And from the second moments like Gemini’s jacking, synth dominated Movement, Baltringue¬- a typically twinkling, poppy outing from Chateau Flight- and the two offerings from Trevino (AKA Manchester drum n bass resident Marcus Intalex), would have to be referenced as amongst the most memorable. Regardless of specifics though, what matters is that Woolford’s melds are exemplary of the cross-pollination currently inherent in all that goes bump, click, and bounce. Better yet, it doesn’t feel like a concept album, or trendy statement, but instead a pair of proper mixes, making for an essential and honest couple of hours listening no less.
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