Friday, 18 November 2011

Sasha, Mixmag Presents Never Say Never CD - Review

Sasha, Mixmag Presents Never Say Never
Sasha, Mixmag Presents Never Say Never

Sasha's Mixmag covermount CD, Never Say Never is a fantastic mix of cool tunes.

Not bad for something stuck on the front of a magazine!
The mix starts with Sasha's own Ushuaia Flight Path - a plinky plink kind of tune! - and mixes perfectly (as if it would be bad!) into Todd Terje's, Snooze 4 Love.
About half way through is the hypnotic sound of Scuba's Adrenalin. One of those tunes that will be in your head for hours... days... weeks...

But the way this mix ends, means tracking it down is a must for anyone who rates quality DJs like Sasha: the last four tunes build to a subtle and excellent finish. Not relentless, but with enough energy to leave you  wanting more (or to go straight to a decent underground dance club!).

Paul Kalkbrenner, Gutes Nitzwerk; Rone, So So So; Scuba, Never and Sasha, Nightpath are all of such quality, that this is the best end to a mix spadang has heard for a long time. We have to rate this mix as a proper Journey. Anything we don't like? It's too short.

Sasha, Mixmag Presents Never Say Never- love it.
Monday, 7 November 2011

Stelios Vassiloudis: It Is What It Is, review

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Stelios Vassiloudis - It Is What It Is

It Is What It Is, a two disc release on John Digweed's influential Bedrock label, is +Stelios Vassiloudis's first artist album. And it's a great debut.Disc 1 treats us to a more ambient selection of tunes, which are sequenced to ensure they contribute to a gentle build up towards the end. Disc 2 gives you a bit more energy and is a good transition(!) from disc 1.

As this is an artist album and not a DJ mix compilation, we aren't going to say disc 1 is a journey. But it is a very likeable selection of tunes with no weak ones to spoil the music as a whole.
Spadang really likes the guitar synths in Clarity and the lovely vocals of Astrid Suryanto, Walk Away are great. A great selection of tunes to relax at home to.

So what about disc 2? Yep, it's the clubbier one of the two and is our favourite. But if you have ever read this blog before, you know spadang prefers the clubbier stuff. Disc 2 is a proper mix, and the edge is a dubby, tech house vibe. It kicks off with the nice and techy Small Hours mixing seemlessly into the equally techy Green In Blue which has some more lush vocals.

Further in and things get dubby and things chug nicely through tunes such as the excellent Reaching and Nowhere.

From Nowhere, the techier The Z follows with its slight tougher edge which some may want to call techno. The Z is the best tune on both discs. We love it!

Disc 2 closes with Repetition, another techno biased tune with a nice bit acid running through it.
It Is What It Is, is a great album from Stelios Vassiloudis and well worth taking seriously. Once again, a strong release from Bedrock.
Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Renaissance The Masters Series review

Dave Seaman, Renaissance, The Masters Series, review
Dave Seaman,
Renaissance, The Masters Series
After a year of no Renaissance releases to look forward to, they are back with a great new mix album: Renaissance The Masters Series, mixed by Renaissance favourite, DJ Dave Seaman.

Spadang has been hoping ever since the sad news was first heard, about Renaissance's apparent demise, that it wasn't the end and that Renaissance would return with a bang. If this album is a sign of the future, things look good.

Disc 1 is a mellow journey of progressive tunes, with Sasha's Cut Me Down being a real highlight. The mix gathers steam from hereafter and as ever with a Seaman mix, it ends well! Dave Seaman has a real knack of ending his mixes with some real quality tuneage. Here, disc 1 ends brilliantly with Modifier's Clockwork (penultimate) mixing beautifully into Lanny May's Drowned Bells: a tune with real emotion and energy. We love it!

Disc 2 starts off with Andi Muller's Comedown, which is a tough techno edged offering. The pace picks up from there and a highlight of disc 2 is Boys Noize's Adonis: real emotion, with a relentless edge that really sets up the rest of the mix. Spadang particularly likes Paolo Mojo's Wasted Youth and also how that the mix ends with several samples overlaying Aeroplane's My Enemy (we always like it when Renaissance do this, almost as much as when several versions of the same tune follow each other!).

Disc 2 ends as brilliantly as disc 1, with the powerful Desert Suede produced by Jemmy (featuring JD Jnr).

So after an eternity (it seemed!), Renaissance has returned and returned to form, with a quality mix, from a quality DJ. Let's hope the label and its offerings build on this and prosper for years to come. Good work and good luck!
Tuesday, 28 June 2011

John Digweed, Structures 2 review

Structures 2, mixed by +John Digweed , is another strong release from Digweed's Bedrock label. As if it would be anything else when Diggers has had his "mits" on it! We have been patiently (honest!!) looking forward to this and that patience has been rewarded. All three discs deliver in their own unique way.

Not being massive ambient fans, we didn't expect to love disc 1. But as soon as Guy J's Easy As Can Be (Tom Middleton Beatless Mix) starts (being track 1), you know that this mix is going to be a quality journey of beatifully remixed tunes. Our favourite tune on disc 1 is the remix of Marco Bailey's Beaming (the Downbeat Mix).

As most of these tunes have been around for a while, in "clubbier" guise, the mix is all the more interesting!
From previous reviews, you may have noted that Spadang loves the harder, darker, tougher side of music. We hoped that disc 2 would be closer to our normal taste and it truly is, seeing as it is a mix recorded from Avalon, Los Angeles. Some of Digweed's stuff is a bit too close to Techno (as much as we like him and his style, we've never seen him as a Techno God!) at times, but Structures 2, disc 2 is right where we like a Digweed set to be: strong, tuneful and relentless.

Disc 2 gets off to a great start with King Unique & Anthony Pappa's Vamoosh (King Unique Kosmische Mix). A great intro that moves into a nice hypnotic melody. The further into the mix you go, the deeper and darker it gets. But the tuneful edge is never far away.

Disc 3 is a DJ friendly unmixed selection of tracks taken from the mixes.

Disc 2 has to be our favourite, as its a true mix from a club. But disc 1 really is a beautiful mix, when you want things to be cool.

Another really good compilation of tunes from Mr Digweed: please don't ever retire!
Monday, 13 June 2011

Nick Warren, Balance 018 review

Balance 018, mixed by Nick Warren is the best Balance mix to date.

At Spadang, we must confess to not always rating the Balance series as highly as others. Sorry about that!

Jimmy Van M's outing was good, and Balance 10.1 was superb. Timo Maas also did a good job. But some of the others impress less. But Nick Warren is a favourite here and Balance 018 really delivers all the things we love.

Staring with disc 1, and you are treated to some smooth tunes that build into a really likeable ending. It really works!

Disc 2 is a bit tougher again, but still nice and tuneful, with a bit of melody here and there.
All in all, Balance 018 is a good mix and the best Balance so far.

If you are undecided about grabbing a copy, we urge you to do so. It's very good.

Tracklist: Balance 018: Nick Warren

01. Ormatie – Only
02. Spieltape feat. Shamil – Morning Paper
03. Underset – Berlin
04. Fiord – The Tribe Has Spoken
05. Paul Hazendonk – My Addiction
06. Eelke Kleijn – Monkey Movin’
07. Jamie Anderson And Owain K – Without Sound
08. Nick Warren – Buenos Aires (Terry Lee Brown Jnr Mix)
09. Nomad in the Dark – Drones (Send me)
10. Franck Orff – Hibiscus
11. Giorgos Gatzigristos – Tickless

01. Tripswitch – Collider (Nick Warren Mix)
02. Julio Largente – Darkened Underpass
03. Beat Factory featuring Stamina – Let’s Take a Walk
04. Lank – Ain’t No Problem
05. Yamil Colucci – Bristol Warm
06. Victoria R – Cosmos
07. Solee – Aragorn
08. Steve Mill – Someday
09. Steven Libby – 80D Test
10. Nick Warren – Flowers (Solee Remix)
11. Pablo Acenso – Bread
Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Danny Howells, Dig Deeper Phase 1 review

Danny Howells, Dig Deeper Phase 1 is one of the best mix compilations of 2011. We at Spadang are loving 2011 musically! It's seen some really strong releases from many of our favourite DJs and producers. One of our biggest faves is Danny Howells.

Packed with quality and tracks galore, Dig Deeper Phase 1 (thank the deity of your choice!) is a journey in every sense.

Yes, the track selection is really strong, including many of Danny's own production, but they are also perfectly placed to build the mix to a really strong finale.

Our favourite tune has to be the last one: Flight Home (Matrix Mix). A truly awesome track and a great way to finish.

At Spadang HQ, we remember with some fondness mix compilations from the past, which included a bit of Drum n Bass (Renaissance 4, or Fluoro anybody?). Well Dig Deeper Phase 1 ends in a such a way. Drum n Bass, or tuneful Breaks? Hard to cast the genre perfectly, but good all the same.

As well as the mix, each tune is also supplied unmixed should you wish to try and create an alternative Dig Deeper, Phase 1 yourself! That means for little coinage, you get 43 (yes 43!) tracks, included in your download! Some CD versions were made available, but we suspect they were snapped up quickly (Spadang knows where one copy went!!!).

So 2011 continues to be a great year for music and Dig Deeper, Phase 1 is well worth a listen. Roll on Phase 2!
Monday, 9 May 2011

Guy J - 1000 Words review

Guy J, 1000 Words? Perfection? Possibly.

Usually, an artist, DJ or producer makes a couple of great tracks under a given psuedonym. But quite often, it seems when they make an album, it fails to match the brilliance of those stand alone masterpieces.

Some producers, of course, can do a full album. Perhaps the best example of this would be Ima, BT's first artist album (Spadang gives his age away there!). A bloody masterpiece seldom equalled, or bettered since by anyone. Including BT himself! Until now.

Guy J's 1000 words, is a great artist album.

1000 Words is even better than Guy's debut album, Esperanza (the best tune on that album being Night Loss. Amazing tune).

With a total of three discs, you know a lot of time and effort has been put into 1000 Words. Disc 1 is the more mellow intro to disc 2's "clubbier" feel. Both discs 1 and 2 are mixed, meaning the journey that we at Spadang HQ love to go on is provided, first class! Disc 3 contains unmixed versions of tracks found on the first 2 discs.

If Night Loss was the best tune on Esperanza, Easy As Can Be is the best on 1000 Words.
But the whole album is polished and grown up. A true masterpiece and well worth a listen.
Should you buy it? Definitely.

Disc 1 (mixed)
Fall Star (Rising Mix)
The Right Place
My Organ Friend
Electric Tale
I Lost My Head (AM Mix)
Stay Cow

Disc 2 (mixed)
Easy As Can Be
My Thought Of You
No Under But You
Personal Haze
I Lost My Head

Disc 3 (unmixed)
Easy As Can Be
My Thought Of You
No Under But You
Personal Haze
Lost My Mind
Thursday, 17 March 2011

Guy J - 1000 Words

Wow, this looks like its gonna be really really good and Spadang can't wait to hear it.
3xCD, 2 mixed says one word to us, which gets us foaming at the mouth: JOURNEY.
Spadang is looking forward to this, more than anything else, since Invol2ver!