Saturday, 23 January 2016

John Digweed, Live In Montreal - review

John Digweed, Live In Montreal
Live In Montreal is the latest installment in John Digweed's awesome "Live In" series and it's the biggest yet: 6 discs, being a snapshot of Digweed's set at the Stereo club, in Montreal. 6 discs. 6 discs of John Digweed, in the mix! This review is gonna take time, so I'm reviewing one disc at a time, over the coming days.

Have I made that clear enough? SIX DISCS!!

One thing I really like about this mix is the way each disc/mix ends and the next one starts. Burn each disc as one track and then play them in order. With gapless playback, there is no delay, so Live In Montreal plays as one continuous mix! You could nearly be there!

And if that isn't good enough, we now have the Finale discs to enjoy. Live In Montreal is now a massive 11 hours of music, spread over 9 discs!

Disc 1

This mammoth mix starts in a very downtempo way and begins with the minimal Epitrachelion, by Induction.

This is downtempo tunes of good quality, further reinforced by both Christerk's Snowhaze and Jemil Deep's excellent About Drugs.

The pace changes slightly, picking up the mood with Alek S's smooth and sublime It's All Good.

We also really like Mr Dello's All That Matters and Viers's Hiroshi Kano. The whole mix is very smooth and well constructed.


Disc 2

The downtempo vibe of disc 1 has been swapped for good relaxed and minimal tunes.

This mix is really balanced and starts off with some very minimal music and towards the end the pace picks up, just a bit. You get the feeling that these first two discs are the "warm up" DJ preparing the crowd for the arrival of Mr Digweed. But that's not true as Mr Digweed is tonight's warm up, in preparation for himself!

Our favourite tunes on this disc are Undulate by Recondite, Dub Theory 1 by Simoncino and later in the mix, the wonderful sound of Dovim's The WOW Signal.


Disc 3

If discs 1 and 2 are just to get you in the mood for some "proper Digweed", disc 3 begins the delivery. This whole disc is great, full of higher tempo music from the likes of Of Norway, Def Mike and Guy Mantzur.

All of the tunes in mix 3 are good, but stand out ones for me are Of Norway's Love Is Over (Terje Saether Remix); Def Mike's - Come Right Here; Guy Mantzur & Sahar Z's - Temporary Sanity (Cornucopia Remix); Nick Curly's - Reverie and Leonardo Gonnelli's - Tonada (No Asking Dub): a nice rich melody runs through this tune.

I always wonder if each Live In mix, is the best of the series so far and always say that it is. But on this occasion, I really feel like this Live In mix is a bit more special. Could this one be the best yet? Check back soon, for my review of disc 4 - I know its gonna be good!


Disc 4

I said (and hoped) disc 4 would be good, but I didn't expect it to be like this:

Disc 4 is incredible and its what you want to hear from John Digweed, if you rate his style. Like disc 3, its hard to praise specific tunes, when the standard of the whole mix is so high. This is a much more uptempo sound, from the previous three discs and maybe more uptempo than anything Diggers has released for some time. But parts of Live In South Beach and Miami do give us the same vibe.

Carrying on straight from disc 3, we are plunged into Nuiton's awesome Flashback Feat. Diel. The first three tunes all work together, to get the tempo up to a relentless level, but Timid Boy's Shout Him (Stacey Pullen Remix) really sets the stage for what is to be a peak time journey of a mix.

Joeski's remix of Bedrock's timeless Santiago is really clever rework and the way Guy J's Rhythmatica mixes with it is true class.

Rhythmatica, what do we think of this Guy J monster? It's one if the best Guy J tunes since Nightloss. It's a brilliant addition to this mix, with its driving synth. Then there is Guy J's Octavia, which is another quality tune from the Israeli producer. It's very very good.

Fireworks by Eagles & Butterflies is a hard relentless piece of driving EDM and as its near the end of disc 4, the signs for disc 5 being a hard tough journey are really positive!

My review of disc 5 and 6 will follow soon. Follow me on Twitter, to find out when the next installment is ready.

Disc 5

After the amazing disc 4, of Live In Montreal, I really wanted disc 5 to take that energy and build upon it. Disc 5 does exactly that and I am very happy. Discs 4 and 5 are truly great with tune after tune of hard edged techno and progressive beats.

Picking up directly from disc 4, 5 gets straight into its relentless stride with  H.O.S.H. - Cilantro, a storming tune if ever there was. Next up is the sublime Release Me by Guy J and things just get better and better from there!

Other tunes which have grabbed me are Lee Van Dowski - Quasar 27.3; Tigerskin - Hippies; Marc Romboy - Counting Comets (Ruede Hagelstein Remix) and Simon Garcia - Ataraxia. But like disc 4, all of the tunes on disc 5 contribute to the overall feeling that this mix is a journey to enjoy - all the more because each tune compliments the former and because this is a harder journey than we've had from John Digweed for some time.

As you can tell, I'm really enjoying Live In Montreal and I can't wait to get into disc 6. I said at the top, 6 discs is a lot, but this is sooo good, I now want more!

Disc 6

So here we are finally, at the end of a massive John Digweed mix. I've really enjoyed the previous five discs so much, so hopes have been high for the last disc. I'm not disappointed, disc 6 is a great way to end what has been one of the best Diggers mixes for a long time.

Not quite as intense as discs 4 and 5, the pace does soften slightly, but not much. This is still a storming mix. Following straight on from 5, we start with the excellent Clarian - Fear and Self Loathing (Christian Burkhardt Remix).

The BOg remix of the Bedrock classic Emerald is a really infectious tune and it leads into another hefty moment with DJ Dozia - Pop Culture (Joris Voorn Remix). The Dave Angel track is also high quality and techno rarely sounds better than this!

Live In Montreal finally closes with Adam Beyer's What You Need. A great way to end a vast journey such as this.

So how does Live In Montreal rank in the Live In series?

I normally end most of these Live In reviews with the ascertain that Cordoba, Slovenia, Argentina and the rest are the best ones yet. Well they all were the best, when I wrote their reviews. But for me, nothing comes close to Montreal. It has to be the best of the series, as its such a massive undertaking, superbly crafted from start to finish. I did read that this will be the last Live In for a while. Let's hope its not too long. I'm desperate to hear all 8 discs of Live In Somewhere Good!


CD 1:
01. Induction - Epitrachelion
02. Mohlao -
03. Esteban Adame - Rise & Shine
04. C-Jay - BackSlider Part 3
05. Recondite - Tame
06. Christerk - Snowhaze
07. Jemil Deep - About Drugs - Dejvid Remix
08. Recondite - Baro
09. Alek S - It's All Good
10. The Unhottest - For Sale
11. Mr. Dello - All That Matters
12. Viers - Hiroshi Kano
13. Patrick Chardronnet – Slowmo

CD 2:
01. Wayne Duggan - Experiment 1 (Matthias Meyer & Patlac Remix)
02. Recondite - Undulate (Lawrence Dub Version)
03. Sei A - You Can Bring
04. Simoncino - Dub Theory 1
05. Ed Ed - Monti
06. The Unhottest - Job Lose
07. Dovim - Ectoderm
08. Smash TV - Cascadia
09. Ashworth - Braun
10. Smash TV - God Key
11. Tigerskin - This Place is Empty Without You
12. Dovim - The WOW Signal
13. Ulf Bonde - Blossom For Me
14. Whitesquare - Daylight

CD 3:
01. Of Norway - Love Is Over (Terje Saether Remix)
02. Moonwalk - Breath
03. H2 - What Is - AFFKT Remix
04. Def Mike - Come Right Here
05. Toni Varga & De la swing - Black Train (Darlyn Vlys & Hearthug Remix)
06. Martin Eyerer - The Rolls (Funk D'Void Remix)
07. Nuiton - Way Out
08. Guy Mantzur & Sahar Z - Temporary Sanity (Cornucopia Remix(
09. Raw District - Within Our Gates
10. Simon Garcia - A Hot Drink In The Desert
11. Nick Curly - Reverie
12. Leonardo Gonnelli - Tonada - No Asking Dub
13. Scan Mode - Panama Jaxx 1.1 (Darkroom Dubs)

CD 4:
01. Nuiton - Flashback Feat. Diel
02. Martin Landsky - I'm A Bitch - Basement Dub
03. Timid Boy - Shout Him (Stacey Pullen Remix)
04. Clarian - Fear and Self Loathing (Hunter / Game Remix)
05. Hunzed & Harvey - Cala Salada (David Mayer Remix)
06. Damian Lazarus & The Ancient Moons - We Will Return (Joeski Dub)
07. Bedrock - Santiago (Joeski Remix)
08. Guy J - Rhythmatica
09. Andre Lodemann - Leaving The Comfort Zone
10. Mita Mita - Wishing To Survive
11. Guy J - Octavia
12. Eagles & Butterflies - Fireworks
13. Blond:ish - Inner Jungle
14. HVOB - Tender Skin - DJ Tennis Remix

CD 5:
01. H.O.S.H. - Cilantro
02. Guy J - Release Me
03. Clarian - Absence
04. Joop Junior - Sofie_Lucie
05. Lee Van Dowski - Quasar 27.3
06. Remcord - Saed - Ramon Tapia
07. Eagles & Butterflies -
08. Tigerskin - Hippies
09. Marc Romboy - Counting Comets (Ruede Hagelstein Remix)
10. Lee Van Dowski - If Only Jack Was
11. Simon Garcia - Ataraxia
12. Noir - Lumière

CD 6:
01. Clarian - Fear and Self Loathing (Christian Burkhardt Remix)
02. Popof - Serenity (Noob Remix)
03. Joseph Capriati - Fratello (Dubfire Remix)
04. Bedrock - Emerald (BOg Remix)
05. DJ Dozia - Pop Culture (Joris Voorn Remix)
06. Dave Angel - Scorpion
07. Mike Griego feat. Amber Long - Sofia (Guy Mantzur Secret Mix)
08. Frankey & Sandrino - Acamar
09. Eric Volta & Gaika - Until I Dissolve (Deetron Remix)
10. Agoria - Independence (Stephan Barnem Remix)
11. KinK - Cloud Generator
12. Pan-Pot, Martin Eyerer & Abby - Muddy Walls
13. Eagles & Butterflies - Murder Was The Bass
14. 3 Channels - Alphabetti Spaghetti
15. Adam Beyer - What You Need
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