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
An album that goes far beyond the club, past the back room, past the festival’s main stage, past the smaller side tent…before long you find yourself with Sommer in an enchanted forest. Or less romantically, DeepChord has taken a road trip to the middle of nowhere with only a tape recorder and a bag of magic mushrooms as travelling buddies. Essentially one long relaxation completing a perfect circle, Rod Modell sets up a gestation period of deep, ambient house and techno, pulling loops outwards and inwards into an infinitely misty whir. Automatically regenerating itself, nature’s small tics and effects (such as the hi-hats slithering in reverse on “The Universe is a Hologram”) heighten the levitation to take it way past your headphones as well.
When the beats drop out, you still find yourself with your feet moving until they’re re-grounded. When you suddenly find that the dreaming is pulling you towards a state of anxiety, and the forest’s enchanted profile comes with darker, turmoil-hued paths, “Fourier” and “Alfama” produce the meanest, dub-punched techno to shatter the looking glass. The album’s nature though is to just shake it off and get back to finding paradise, though actually finisher “Wind Farm” sounds doomed as if unable to find its way back.
As background clubbing or a tome deep in its own thought bubble, getting away from it all is either holiday luxury or the need to escape reality altogether. Sommer is much more than your average advertisement for mind body and soul.
File under: Echospace, Soultek, Basic Channel