Sixty minutes to get down and boogie, tell others to get out the way, and to hold your head up high and see the light. Gary Beck on his debut mix mans the Soma express, heading into the next double decade with a recap of some of the Glasgow’s label’s ripest.
Easing into the mix with DeepChord’s dub-boiled bubbling, the tide begins to turn when Heiko Laux and Steve Rachmad’s “The Viking” tells you to snap out of whatever dancefloor daydream has come over you. With no time to waste, Beck always giving the turntables a firm push without being overzealous, a Claude Von Stroke mix of Scott Grooves’ “Mothership Connection” applies some staunch tech-house funkiness. Mark Henning gets greater groove going on immediately after, in time for the mix beginning a quick planetary orbit.
Pig&Dan and Mark Reeve restore a supply of techno that goes down a dark alley to fight its own fight. Having hardened the dancefloor and with tribal conditioning still to be inserted, Beck takes it upon himself to open the arena’s roof so radiance comes pouring in with “Algoreal,” without giving up on the stomp he’s paved, furthered by Funk D’void’s “Diabla” flourishing under the tutelage of Christian Smith and Wehbba, and taken to a serene conclusion by Ricardo Villalobos remixing Envoy. A sweepingly concise 21 gun Soma salute.
File under: Alex Under, Matthias Tanzmann, Oliver Deutschmann
Landmark techno that comprehensively breaks down age barriers, Steve Rachmad’s 1995 dance floor version of “The Borrowers” is in many ways the conventional out of body experience. The key is for the Dutchman not to be too pushy, as the science will take care of itself and self-develop – a tweak in formula here, a variable brought to a natural conclusion there, and the full bodied, single-minded sound getting into your head and flushing the faculties. The smooth new age travelling flourishes in kaleidoscopic loops, where “Astronotes” captures the techno life cycle, and “The Lost of a Love” gathers surprising emotion despite a rather standard deep techno setup. It can be abrasive, with the grinding ironmonger “Axion” more about sharpening elbows, showing what happens when the neatness of sonic mathematics drops in a rogue element. Rachmad nipping in between comes up with “Sitting on Clouds” and the classic sounding “Thera,” heavy going on the feet but simultaneously full of radiant bounce.
Techno purists, a bunch best avoided in confrontation, have expressed beef in certain quarters regarding omissions from the original tracklist. Five digital-only adjustments taking the package near the two hour mark, and a big league remix roster in support, are dubious appeasement. The counter offer is that if this is your first encounter with The Secret Life…, it’s probably your duty to backtrack and get an even fuller picture of an eternal techno sound. File under: Esteban del Monte, Parallel 9, Ignacio