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Album of the Week: Various Artists 'Bedrock 14'

More quality music from Bedrock.

Artist: Various Artists
Album: Bedrock 14
Label: Bedrock
Release Date: 08/10/12

It's fair to say there's something deeply hypnotic about almost everything featured on this latest showcase of production from the label John Digweed and Nick Muir established way back when things were far bigger sounding in the world's clubs. Not that there's anything particular small going on here, mind.

The otherworldly, or at least futurist quality that first marked out such imprints (and their purveyors) as ‘progressive' remains, only in a way that no longer fits the stereotypes, and hasn't for some time. A truer definition of what that sound should be than the one usually applied, as is evidenced by the contents of these two discs, it's about unexpected twists, genre clashes and foreboding moods lunging between anticipation, darkness and warmth.

Eagles & Butterflies' Kollekt opens the deal, with gentile chimes and a stepping rhythm, though there's more than a suggestion things will toughen up, not least when the tribalistic wooden accents arrive. Cue fare from the likes of Pig & Dan, Christian Smith, Quivver and Marco Bailey, developing grooves that epitomise where the Bedrock sound has gone- inviting hooks, and a relentless focus on moving feet, even at the most melodic end, with influences abound from the gamut of four fours.

Later Solee's Resistance offers soaring synths, imposing John Carpenter-esque bass refrains and electric horn stabs. All 4AM and sweaty, it's seemingly poised on a knife-edge that refuses to tip onto either side. Meanwhile, Rex Club resident Maxime Dangles provides an anti-thesis that's no more predictable, hurling forth jackhammer four fours and frenetic piano loops as lunatic acid filters are applied. House indeed, though not of the standard variety.

Incidentally, a second face from the same (legendary) Parisian haunt, Electric Rescue, provides another standout moment, thus suggesting a rather exciting time in the French capital's scene. In this instance it's a remix of Digweed and Muir's typically driving builder Raise, quite possibly the most archetypal label piece on this collection, coming complete with enough punch on the percussion and rolling low ends to ensure heads will be firmly aimed down if and when it gets aired. 12 years on and still definitely doing something solid that's not quite techno or house, it's more than a welcome return for one of the finest familiar names out there.

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