on 14 May 2013
I was completely blown away by this mix, especially the first CD - it is sublime! Do yourself a favour and invest in a decent pair of earphones and just soak it all up. I would gladly pay £9 for CD1 alone, CD2 is a bit too repetitive for me, lacking in the ingenuity of its former part.
I love the way there are shorter tracks with a truly ambient/beatless sound which act to break up the mix's tempo and create a very immersive and unpredictable atmosphere. This means that it manages to create a dreamy, chilled out experience but one that provides a few surprises and shifts in mood so it does not get too repetitive so as to become slightly boring and sleep inducing (like some of Hernan Cattaneo's previous offerings). This is sadly missing in the more upbeat second disc with a constant bpm (not to say it's bad but in comparison to the first there is no competition in my opinion).
In summary, the track selection and mixing make this an instant classic in electronic music (CD1 and CD2). I have never heard (or seen) anything like CD1, it is an immediate source of inspiration for visual thinkers in particular (designers/artists) and as such is an essential listening experience for them and anyone else for that matter. CD2 has its moments and is in no way a bad mix, it is constantly upbeat with mostly beautiful tracks produced and mixed to the highest standard but it can't deliver an experience as unique and memorable as CD1. In fairness, I think this is only because the second disc has longer and fewer tracks, while the first has more numerous and shorter tracks, therefore giving it the opportunity to bring some variety and shifts in momentum (honestly, it's genius).
Like the album artwork, this is a hidden gem. Go and discover it!
on 28 January 2013
So, it's here, Nick's long overdue return to Renaissance! Whilst Nick's mixes are usually the benchmark that other prog djs must raise their level to (particularly his Global Underground releases), this time Nick had a tough act to follow, with the latest Renaissance from Hernan Cattaneo being a real modern classic. How then, would Nick fair following up such a great previous offering to the Masters Series?
The double cd is structured simularly to his Soundgarden shows; the first half is a downtempo affair, the second is a return to his club sound. I was quietly hoping for something resembling disc 1 of 'GU30: Paris' from the downtempo disc. This isn't really like that though, it's not as mellow and is more like Hernan's opening disc on the last Master's Series release. I'd have to say I initally enjoyed Hernan's offering more, but after a few listens I've really found my way into the set. Stand out moments include SCSI-9's 'Ellsworth Land', DFRNT's 'El Spirito' (Beatless mix), Tripswitch's 'Sick Teckers', Nick Warren's 'Devil's Elbow' and a particularly good dub mix of Nick Warren's 'Buenos Aires' from Luis Bondio.
Disc two is, I would say, perhaps a little better than disc two of Hernan's lastest Renaissance mix. It's also a very true reflection of what Nick's playing out live at the moment (which I can confirm after seeing him at MOS just in November). I think those who enjoyed Nick's previous mix (Balance 018) would enjoy this a great deal. It's just a warm, inviting prog feast. It doesn't have the dark twists and turns of some of his previous mixes, but i've certainly found being out for a run with your ipod, or driving home from work, this mix gives you such a feel good factor. Highlights include Levente's 'Csillagok' and the awesome 'Welcome To The Sun' by Tom Glass. Recommended.
Verdict: 5 Stars!
on 12 February 2013
Warren delivers the goods yet again ! He had a very tough task to follow on from hernan cattaneos last mind blowing master series, but this has not phased him and has come up with this absolute belter ! cd 1 is just beautiful chill out, and cd 2 a proggresive house masterpiece ! well done nick !!!!!
on 25 January 2013
It's been playing non-stop and will continue so for a long time, CD1 sets an amazing scene with lovely electronic tunes and CD2 just rips the roof off, fantastic production, very versatile and coherent - Well worth the wait !
on 7 June 2013
Brilliantly made by Nick Warren, one of the mix, we are waiting for a long time.
Hard to find better jewel on Renaissance series. Both CD discs are quiet different but perfectly and stylistically clearly met.
Great expressive journey from deep relaxation to the apotheosis of musical celebration, harmony unity of the human mind with the universe.
Second CD first class house music, fine tuned, rich of textures, music ideas, exciting themes.
All in all one of the best album I heard this year.
on 30 January 2014
I have to admit that I really, really like this one. It stands out amongst what is often very mediocre competition as subtle, progressive, intelligent, and quietly emotional. The result: its my go-to album at the moment. Disc one starts off with a superb, slow-burning and atmospheric introduction across the first few tracks (by Aurtas, DFRNT and Tripswitch), and the mix thereafter gently morphs through a very similar tempo and feel. At times its almost laugh-out-loud Blade Runner / Vangelis, but for me any music that can evoke that film score and mood is on to a winner. Disc two kicks off with Levente's Tunneling; a thought provoking sample of the NASA commentary from the Space Shuttle's last flight as the main theme. Reflective stuff.......
In my experience the genre of the DJ mix is a minefield to try and get a really decent sounding result (Sasha's Involver series and John Digweed's Northern Exposure are still the benchmarks for me). Heard through dCS, Bryston, ATC, these discs sound heavily compressed with a re-EQ'd top end. The highest frequencies sound like they've been rolled off and the result is a very clubby sounding album; very heavy in the lowest frequencies and overall very warm and close. What this balance does seem to have resulted in is a pronounced low end with lots of shape and texture, including a few bits to challenge even big full range monitors, that will benefit from a carefully integrated sub'. Technically, it may not be the highest fidelity if you mostly listen to well recorded material, but as modern contemporary music I do love it!
on 1 March 2013
Whilst CD1 is a slower affair and therefore probably needs more listens to really get you, it's CD2 that jumps right out and grabs you from the start. I'd go as far as saying that it could well be the best mix I've heard since the northern exposure series. £9? It's the steal of the century.
on 6 December 2013
I loved the previous mix by Hernan Cattaneo and said it was the best in the series - especially Disk 1 with its clever weave and intricate brave experiment on a chill out vibe that has not been witnessed since Danny Howells 24/7 GU Mix. (yes its as good as that) but this mix by Mr Warren may have surpassed this brilliance and taken it to the next level. The first disk hits things off with that same chill beat that Nick is best known for on his mix CD's, so think GU 30 Paris disk 1, GU Reykjavik 24 Disk 1, his back to mine mix - only this time its the 2013 version. 19 tracks that flow and mould into each other with some lovely new music that is a delight to listen too and is so missed on so many mixes these days - I just love it.
Its actually Disk 2 that wins it for me. You will struggle to find a better 70 minute club mix this year or in the series (and lets face it this is a great series) but its the progressive techy bassy beat that fills dance floors the world over after almost 20 years that wins it for me and takes over from Hernans Mix (which is damn good but not quite as good as Nicks 2nd Disk) so many new tunes that work so well together it just had to go back in and be listened to for many more years to come. Trust me, if you like NW or Renaissance - you will love this. Well done mr Warren - you are officially the best Mix CD DJ EVER!
on 22 February 2013
I can't really add to what has already been said, although I would just like to say that both mixes just get better and better everytime you listen to them, just like a great mix should do. Thanks Nick and thanks Renaissance for producing, what for me, is still the best form of electronic music. Keep them coming!
on 28 January 2013
Well i met nick before and what a nice guy but im going on the music not himself. CD1 was nearly like paris CD1 and CD2 was much much better than hernan cattaneos masters CD2 that bored me, nick all i can i say is thank you for being a great selector of tunes and a fantastic mixer,people say prog is dead but nick knows whats what. I have all your albums and a hell lot more from other labels. you are a Legend and i bought your cd mixes and digital on itunes and yes man you are like wine the older you get the better.and also balance 018 nicenot great but good, Fair Play Nick from Dublin..