A house network providing a little bit of everything, and rarely disappointing whatever mood you’re in. Vocal numbers, funky muscle, regeneration of prototypes, electro-pop gateways and deep house settlements with an additional filtered disco plug, make simple a potentially oversubscribed mix and match.
This is after initially allowing image conscious tracks through the same gate as uptown grooves. The former naturally chafing against the roll of the latter, become easily ignorable as you get to the album’s warm core, Deetron’s sequencing getting them out the way early as simple means of demoing his repertoire. As his ego is reined in at the point of the Hercules & Love Affair feature “Crave,” attempts at edginess pass without incident, both to the detriment and benefit of the LP. The Seth Troxler writhe “Love Song” jostles in the same position, saved by expertly throwing back acid forwards. Either way, both are scolded by the spiritual “Bright City Lights.”
“Sing” will take you to rooftops so you can broadcast its praises, and “Can’t Love You More” will fly when rays are on its back. “Starblazer” deserves upgrading from ‘only’ being the bonus track with a tough bump and hustle; overall, strong songwriting and vocals from dons, divas and crowd pleasers aside, the dance floor isn’t really treated to anything out of the ordinary. Yet with Deetron keeping the basics strong and trad values topped up for sun worshippers and graveyard shifters, treated it most definitely is.
File under: Subb-An, Steven Tang, The Shapeshifters
With all the creaminess of a Belgian chocolate, The Pink Collection parades 13 exclusives of dream house in pursuit of polygon paramours. A day in the life of a color-coded Eskimo icon is to be caught gazing at itself in the mirror before being called up for astronaut’s duty, such is the inexorable relationship cosmic disco seems to have with comic book concepts of space travel.
The softness and sparkle of straight lines made wavy, makes light of a hashtag of first world problems and holds a Euro exhilaration to sail away upon, with Majestique’s “Must Get There” a great holding down of the dance floor. For the most part the airbrushed pop of Holy Models and co is either poolside or shoulder padded up; Made In Sane are caressing the controls of a rocket ship launched from the whitest of sandy beaches, fronting what could just as well be a retro arcade simulator; and Ichisan dabbles in low strength acid for a new way to access the compilation’s collection of shooting stars.
When teetering, quite knowingly, on being too soft and similar to go anywhere — structurally you can tell where the collective are gonna dazzle — Kasper Bjørke stands up to dint the shine, and Mastercris crosses a Mad World-like divide thanks to an excellent vocal from Novika. It’s to the credit of its sequencing that The Pink Collection progressively starts to highlight small cracks in the facade, without shattering the illusion.
A generally thoughtful 17-track collection, aiming to unlock minds by extolling the virtues of dance floor dehydration inside the Cocoon bubble, is the outline for what are slightly low key celebrations. Far from being an oversized retrospective — okay, some merchandise bonuses are added for the occasion, and Cocoon fans are never far from a new release anyway — it’s an onward and upward declaration from Sven Väth, planning the label’s next hundred-strong discography upon the techno institution receiving its ton-up telegram.
As to whether it should have gone all out on the catalogue classics blueprint, or at least included a mixed format, at the very least there are big names to mark a big deal. But reading beyond the headliners is where the compilation makes more of the anniversary. Out of the concentration searching for both oxygen and daylight, where veins bulge at the temple but composure never deserts, Sante & Frank Lorber methodically get window panes quivering. Timo Maas is in grouchy, bass is my master mood, Pig & Dan operate between both of these giving the neighbours what for, and Minilogue turn a foam party into a smothering, stifling swamp of techno worry as physical pressure is added to your cranium. Dominik Eulberg and Secret Cinema hold instructions to the lighting of a blue touch paper for the birthday cake candles.
Luca Lozano patiently travels with an unassuming gait as daylight dwindles, the ex-Zombie Disco Squadian presenting closing time beats and diet dub ambling into jazz and disco downs. The mood is mild to say the least, Lozano resisting anything fiery by spinning from the corner of your dining room, effectively minding his own business (the Gallic trip-hop perch of “Chaki Zulu”) while you host guests and make idle chitchat. Once you’ve upped and left, Lozano will still be spinning, making use of the fading light, though attempts to get under your skin with the likes of “Lunch with Mr Ho” and “Need Nothing” doing cosmic disco with the blinds down, more often than not meekly scratch at the surface.
“Tombstone,” a folk-gothic hip-hop instrumental, is a necessary change of scenery, only slightly marred by the S’Express sample tacked onto the end, and “Layer Conveyer” is a groove through the gears, finding wistful house that’s refined while in a busier mood. The emergence of “In This World But Not Of It” suggests Lozano is done being a night owl and his sprightlier house mood wants to tackle a new day, helping advance the prevalent playing of a waiting game and showing the album isn’t a complete nobody. Therefore, easy to slip on to give the room some noise and shape without your brain having to fire — which might not sound like much, but sometimes is all you need.
File under: DJ Cam, Pablo Nouvelle, Portico Quartet