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Late Night Tales - Bonobo
Late Night Tales - Bonobo
Price: 9.02

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All the right ingredients, 8 Dec 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Here's another word of praise. I enjoy introspective, nocturnal mixes and this one does it all for me. The mood, the variety in weaving themes, while remaining silky smooth. It wins in knowing where to ease down and where to take a different turn, or where to provide space for softer tones. There are gentle, elegant threads, the mood is introspective, comforting and affectionate, touching, at times. There are no rough edges to bruise, although there are enough surprises to sustain intensity till the end. One to buy for the special person in your life.

Balance 22 Mixed By Funk D'Void
Balance 22 Mixed By Funk D'Void
Price: 11.97

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top class here. Yet again., 12 Jan 2013
Balance mixes seem to bring out the personal, flavoured touch from each contributor and it isn't a coincidence most releases have the person behind them right on the cover art. It's about the person, their skill and their tastes. Nothing less, nothing more.

cd 1 is polished, elegant, delves a bit deeper in places (Track 7, DJ Tonka - Orca (Dub)) only to take a turn to set off for a smooth, elegant glide through open landscapes (Track 9, Soy Mustafa - Return Of Annunaki (John Tejada Cinematic Edit)) and has the power of keeping you both cosy and interested, without hitting any rough edges. It has that wonderful, elusive quality of building up your interest as it glides along. The moment Track 11 slides in (Lost Forever In A Happy Crowd, Exercise One & Mathew Jonson) and the uplifting and freeing sensation it brings, is about as warming and rewarding as it gets.
Moments like this appear several times in the second half of the mix, as it lays down its tracks for your introspective musings (Track 13, Delano Smith - Wires), which flower into another warm, sunlit moment in Track 14 (Sam Matters - Weight Off My Mind). With your faith in humanity, and good mixing, confirmed, you have plenty of time and space to enjoy the sweet aftertastes with soothing female vocals (Track 15, Chymera - The Chase (Steve Rachmad Edit)) and a generous, gradual, exhilarating ride towards the end and into the horizon.

Stay tuned for cd2...

Yellow House
Yellow House
Price: 9.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In its own time., 6 Dec 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Yellow House (Audio CD)
Perhaps the moment was right, the first time I played Reprise. A very good friend's YouTube video recommendation in an e-mail. Not knowing anything about the band, the moment I played the song I knew it was uniqe. That song on its own felt like waves and wavelets rhythmically washing over a shore of pebbles.

The album, and the music on it, lives in its own time. A rare quality--the ability to naturally weave around the moment, allowing its own world materialise so intensely that each listening stops time.

A rare, unique album. Gentle, raw, beautifully structured and haunting.


Price: 22.97

5.0 out of 5 stars Eccentric connoisseurs of impeccable sound, 26 Mar 2012
This review is from: Touch (Audio CD)
This unique duo of stylish, multi-faceted personalities, Dieter Meier and Boris Blank are, to lend a quote from the opening track, Experts in the game.

Theirs has always been a world of its own, leaving little space for imitation or wider musical following. Where some acts opened doors to an entirely new space in electronic music ready to be filled in and developed by others, Yello has always stood alone, on top of their own mountain with no space for others. Just as it is impossible to copy vintage wine, their world shares similar rare qualities that feel uniquely rewarding.

Touch Yello is no different. Saying Boris Blank's instrumentation and music production are flawless would be stating the obvious. His tracks range in mood from mysteriously playful, to nocturnal and cool, from razor sharp to soothing and moving. On the whole the album has a more loungey feel.

The guest singers bring extra colour and warmth, especially Heidi Happy, whose penetrating and soothing voice in tracks 2 and 12 weaves through the tracks beautifully and has the capacity to seamlessly move.

It's incredible to consider the range of styles Boris Blank can pull off and still sound unmistakably Yello.

Some tracks manage to pass by, creating great background accompaniment, but others hit directly home with their sheer beauty and elegance.

Tracks of note would be 1. The Expert - elegant and suave, perfectly sums up the duo.

2. You Better Hide (with Heidi Happy) - a surprisingly beautiful and heartbreaking plead. Masters at work here.

3. Out Of Dawn - Dieter Meier's trademark voice on top of nocturnal latin rhythms.

5. Till Tomorrow - an echoey, jazzy instrumental, with muffled trumpet warming up the room.

10. Vertical Vision - another, slightly more sinister instrumental, which could make great stage music.

11. Trackless Deep - catchy memories of a great summer holiday in tones and lyrics, tropical rhythms, blue ocean, breezy beaches and coconuts, surprisingly keeping the overall mood undisturbed.

12. Stay (with Heidi Happy) - in my opinion an absolute jewel in the crown of this album. Touchingly open lyrics, beautifully produced with minimal sparks and light touches, unassuming and almost hidden among the other tracks. Heidi Happy's voice penetrates right into the heart, and her plead touches the sensitive side, it's all done in 3:03 minutes. Rarely can such little time create so much response these days. This track alone would carry the album far enough for me.

14. Takla Makan (with Dorothee Oberlinger) - the closing track is an exotic instrumental, evokative of the night in the desert [edit: excuse my ignorance, Takla Makan is a desert in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China, thanks for correcting], cinematic in its feel, enhancing the night mood.

Despite the few unnecessary "passing by" tracks, it's an absolute 5/5.

Price: 11.94

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classy, glassy-clear, and accomplished pair of sets., 11 Feb 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: BALANCE 020 (Audio CD)
I love this release. After the layered, processed and analogue feel of Henry Saiz's Balance 019 mixes, Deetron's offering may feel very different, but, after a while, I've found myself playing Deetron's mixes more and more, enjoying their airy, elegant quality and ability to reveal more and more after several listens.

I liked the concept of having one mix digital and the other analogue from the outset.

There's a subdued energy to the first - the digital - mix. It moves smoothly on, it's elegant, controlled, but intense - I can't quite put my finger on why, but it feels incredibly tight, but airy at the same time. I love the build up of the first three tracks for the vocal to kick in in track 4 "Loosing My Patience". It works so well! The set then moves on, keeping tight control, winding down and opening up to let in some emotions towards the end, until an absolutely unexpected and all the more brilliant and quirky last track by Savage Progress "Heart Begin To Beat", which I heard on the mix for the first time and fell in love with straight away. It's a track from the 80s, but it feels absolutely fresh and up to date with the rest of the mix and choosing it as an ending was a stroke of genius.

As to the second disc - the analogue mix - it feels direct, focused, and its flow is simply astounding. Deetron is a master DJ, judging from his mixing here, as the vinyls seem to merge into one seamless ride completely effortlessly. Excellent choice of tracks, energizing mixing, everything feels just right.

All in all, Deetron provided two top quality mixes that will reward on repeated listens. It may be important to say that it took me some three months to reach this level of appreciation - I own about a dozen mix compilations that I really love and, even though I didn't fully appreciate what I'd bought at first with this one, I simply couldn't resist playing the mixes whenever I needed something more focused, more accomplished and elegant. Deetron's Balance now occupies a unique spot in my collection.

I love the series for the variety and the personal touch each DJ brings to their release, and the fact that it introduces me to tracks I'd never have come across otherwise. Deetron's mix is no exception. It rates way up among the top ones.

Price: 9.14

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A hypnotic journey through the night into early hours of dawn., 6 Aug 2011
This review is from: IMPERMANENCE (Audio CD)
A smooth, hypnotising and, at times, emotional selection of tracks. With the help of vocals, especially the beautiful voice of Kid A (Track 1 and 7), this album has no sharp edges, but flows and echoes down in a rich and exotic sound realm, similar to Agoria's mix releases, especially Fabric 57, which features two tracks from this album (Tracks 5 and 10).

In a selection of reverberating, mostly mid-tempo rhythms and sounds, there are darkly sensual moments, like Track 5 Speechless, feat. Carl Graig, with the lyric touching on, but, luckily, not crossing the border between erotic and tacky. It's a track that is fantastically used in Fabric 57. Instrumentation is quite rich, too. There are stretched-out strings with some piano trickles (Grande Torino, Track 6, for example), there is a tribal, ritualistic madness with trance-like vocals in Little Shaman (Track 8), there's a nocturnal, sorrowful mourning horn with echoes of Miles in Track 9 and there's a wonderfully hypnotic journey through the night into the early hours of dawn in the last track, which could go on repeat for hours without losing its hefty atmosphere.

On the whole, I enjoyed the smoothed-out richness, and weirdly hypnotic quality of the album. It plays really well at night and if you're a night person, you'll most certainly enjoy this.

Balance 006 (Mixed By Anthony Pappa)
Balance 006 (Mixed By Anthony Pappa)

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sunset landscapes and steaming crowds in laser lights., 29 July 2011
A very accessible, atmospheric Balance release that works beautifully from the first, as well as on repeated listens. First CD has a spacey, open-air, summery feel, filling the room with soothing breaks and sunset tunes, adding a little bit of thoughtfulness and deeper-grounded breaks and echoes mid-way, only to release an even more powerful beam of soothing light as it progresses towards the end. It's been working for me very well whenever I needed something more mellow and calming, but imaginative and energising at the same time, something that wouldn't disrupt the atmosphere, but add to it with a sweet, freeing touch. That's exactly what the first mix does - focuses and eases the mind, adding a little bit of extra, feel-good spark.

The second CD starts off with a deeper, darker, and more nocturnal boost that's really difficult to listen to if you're in a situation where you can't move to the beats! Tasty house breaks that flow down with great energy, again, flawlessly mixed together into a coherent, solid mix that is a bit less "open-air" but definitely more "club-friendly", as it evokes images of steaming crowds in laser lights. Absolutely gorgeous for a party mood!

Anthony Pappa develops the mixes with perfect feel for the whole, each track filling the right spot in the journey, with the transitions perfectly seamless. Both mixes feel like a cohesive, original production, which, to me, is a great testament to his skill.

All in all, a fabulous release!

fabric 57: Agoria
fabric 57: Agoria
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: 8.83

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Agoria's fine, silky threads of perfection!, 18 July 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: fabric 57: Agoria (Audio CD)
As it was the case with his previous mixes (At the Controls, Balance) it took some time for me to really appreciate the skill, genuine originality and quality of the mixing. These aren't the kinds of mixes that work on first impressions, or on one level. Quite the contrary - it's only when you allow the mix to work on its own merits, when you get the sense of the whole, only then it will start to reveal its true quality. Once that happens, it's sure to become seriously addictive and fulfilling. Everything will start to make sense, everything will fall into place, adding to the development, build up and flow of the mix, often on surprisingly emotional levels. This 'sense of the whole' brings the mix to entirely new levels each time you listen.

That's what I love most about Agoria's mixing. It's the incredible variety of sounds, genres and tunes he's able to weave together into something that is breathtakingly original, complex and at the same time unified, even though some of the used elements could be very far from each other in time or genre (see Ella Fitzgerald's Night And Day). Agoria is able to take an element of a track, develop it in a new context to an amazing effect, having all of the elements add to the whole structure of the mix. He seems to be able to develop and construct his mixes on very fine lines, as if using many silk threads that wouldn't stand the pressure on their own, but, when put together, they create an amazing fabric that captures and inspires your imagination. (See the impeccable mixing in tracks 11 & 12 Agoria feat. Carl Craig & La Scalars - Speechless.)

This is, indeed, a work of an incredibly talented DJ that will keep on rewarding you after many repeated listens.

Price: 9.86

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Crackingly smooth, reflective, introverted and all-round wonderful, 4 July 2011
I was listening to this release almost constantly for the past few days and decided to edit my review a bit, praising it even more than before. Nick Warren is a stellar DJ and with these mixes, as was pointed out in one of the earlier reviews, he lets the new talents and their productions shine, rather than attracting the attention to himself, basking in the spotlight. With this in mind, the relatively shorter track list, at least in comparison with other Balance releases, makes perfect sense and thanks to NW's experienced ears and his mixing abilities, both mixes provide solid, steadily wonderful and easy-on-the-ear journeys into the night, feeling more engaging and addictive with every listening.

Cd 1 is tech / progressive house oriented, starts off on a positive note, then steadily turns more introverted, keeping the same, wonderfully flowing and thrusting beat, on which the tracks evolve in an incredibly smooth way that makes them gel beautifully, which is the most characteristic quality of both mixes. There are moments when a certain track realeases a heartwarming moment, especially towards the end, Track 10, Hibiscus by Franck Orff, which beautifully mixes into the last track, Tickless by Giorgos Gatzigristos - a wonderful afterhours track to close the mix with.

Cd 2 fitted the night mood perfectly. Smooth, crunchy, and atmospheric, with tracks that delve deeper into the warmingly positive groove, flowing into the late night. Track 2, Nick Warren's excellent mix of Collider by Tripswitch, is among my favourite tracks and the mix doesn't go down until the very end, keeping the mood reflective and imaginative. I played the disc yesterday to accompany some late work me and my girlfriend needed doing, and we both enjoyed the mix a lot. Great one.

To sum up, Balance 18 by Nick Warren is a fantastic release - fans of Nick Warren could feel a bit let down for the lack of experimentation, or variety, but I really enjoyed the contemplative, moody and perfectly smooth style of mixing in both mixes, especially in mix 2, which makes it shine.

I'd had some reservations about this mixes after the first listen, but I've found myself returning to this mix more and more often, so that now it's one of the most pleasant, smoothest and most addictive releases I've heard.

Give it a go and give it time. It will reveal it's inconspicuous beauty with each listen.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 26, 2012 8:22 AM BST

Price: 12.77

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Large Hadron Collider of music particles, 27 Jun 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: BALANCE 019 (Audio CD)
Few words could do this release justice. It is - phenomenal. A couple of minutes in and you'll know that this 2cd mix has been made with genuine heart and love of music, both past and present. It has been put together by someone who understands how powerful music can be in capturing and expressing intangible emotions and timeless qualities, binding the past, the present and the future together into a fleeting moment. The mix offers wonderings into these unique moments as few other releases do.

It's clear that Henry Saiz understands the potential of a mix cd as the format created for, but going far beyond, the dancefloor experience. The mixes take you on a sonic journey inspired by past wonderings through the shortwave spectrum on old analogue radio sets, nights spent browsing through their miracle world of white noise, exotic languages, mysterious tunes and echoey sounds. These memories are brought to life with present technology, respecting the continuity that underlies all music across genres. You'll find yourself transfixed and exhillarated with each second, wondering where the mix takes you next.

There are moments to dream to, moments to dance to and moments to zone out to and stare out of the window (ideally, while travelling long distances). Naming highlights in the tracklist or track IDs for reference would be difficult, even pointless, as it would go against the idea behind both sets - to offer a unified listening experience. This is a quality this release shares with equally mighty Balance 014 by Joris Voorn.

Very few mix cds go close to this one. Buy it while it's out there. It is the Large Hadron Collider of music particles that yields amazing finds right now.

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