Compilation Review: ‘Balance Presents Guy J’ (Balance)

Balance-Presents-Guy-J

★★★★☆

Guy J’s latest endeavor, Balance Presents Guy J, is a collection of appeasing compositions that peacefully ebb and tide their way to a harmonious symphony of contentment. While still maintaining a serene resonance, the lead-in track “No One Gets Left Behind” inflects the undertone eeriness and key plunking of Nine Inch Nails on a calmer day. “Santa Fe” conjures up a vibe of South Beach during Ultra Music Week when day three or four of insomnia is rearing its head: You saunter down to poolside at close to 1pm for breakfast and that first cup of coffee. Your eyes are shaded from the glaring tropical sunlight, your hand over your brow masking the fuming heat of midday. All the while there’s this cool ambiance flowing from the poolside speakers to calm the soul and radiate positive energy and the day is unfolding as it should.

The tracks are minimalistic yet opulent and a few are reminiscent of the pleasing Egbert “Open” from 2010. The jazz and funk infused “Waitin” is hinting at drum n bass similar to that of Brazil’s DJ Marky. “Once Upon A Time” might be a candidate for Above & Beyond’s Anjunadeep meets old school The Shamen “Boss Drum” with a slightly slower tempo. Indecipherable, subtle chanting on tracks like “Migrants” and “Fever” add a distinct, surreal element and the latter track gains a nice pickup funk about two thirds of the way through for a unique flare. Considering its soothing vibe, Guy J’s remix of Way Out West’s “Killa” is a bit of a misnomer.

As a whole what encompasses the essence of this latest effort from Guy J is warming and inspiring. The listener will find after unknowingly letting Balance Presents Guy J flow on repeat, it is both uplifting and therapeutic and leaves the listener with a new sense of rejuvenation like that from a nice hot tub soak or a good massage.

File under: John Digweed, Chaim, Guy Gerber