The Best In The Series...,
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This review is from: Renaissance: Transitions, Vol. 4 (Audio CD)
While the first three editions of the Transitions series all had great ingredients, the cake just didn't seem to taste perfect when you took it out of the oven. Transitions Volume 4 finally gets it right. Volume 4 delivers some of the most pleasing moments in the series, and most notably these almost always occur in the middle of an adventurous layering of productions.
The obvious highlights might be how Kabale & Liebe's `Mumbling Yeah' hovers over the gritty `In Spite' by Jeff Bennett, or perhaps how Sian's `Wear Your Scars Like Medals' explodes into action after fighting its way out of Myers Briggs' mesmerising `Forever'. But scratch the surface a bit more, and you'll uncover my personal highlights, such as the abrupt change in mood from being in the clouds from Guy J's `Under Pressure' to being dumped and kicked around in the grime with `Rezolution', an important transition that drives the mix into the darkness. It's in this period where my very favourite moment is captured--the instant Digweed begins to move from the pounding Jamie Stevens mix of `Mineral Drive' into the eerily captivating `Dreams Of Bells' by Pig & Dan. It's the 6am moment that John has finally been able to capture in a Transitions album, and it's the thing that the rest have been sorely missing.
While the sound in Transitions Volume 4 is yet another collection of minimal techno's finest melody makers, the presentation and delivery of this mix has all the hallmarks of what made John's progressive sound so effective. There is a somewhat logical progression in this mix: it seems to all come together from first beat to the last, and while a cynic may see this as predictable, I see it as how a mix should be delivered. One of John's strengths when mixing compilations is his ability to turn a handful of tracks into one giant adventure. That's why we pick up mix compilations by our favourite DJs. Anyone can mix a handful of productions, few can turn them into a great mix.
The first three Transitions volumes all had their moments. I think back to the mix from Diringer into Rocco on Volume 1 or the serene opening 20 minutes of Volume 2. With Volume 4, he's captured some of that older magic. So while some may criticise this mix for indulging in past successes, perhaps remember that these past successes were not achieved by the sound or the genre that was big at the time, but rather the delivery and skill in putting the mix together.