There are few things more satisfying than having your cake and eating it too, and John Digweed’s Live in Montreal Finale is a rich three-disc dessert to top off the original six-disc main course. It’s the final piece of Bedrock’s biggest project to date; this punch in the sweet tooth is a retrospective look at Diggers’ epic eleven-hour marathon set from Stereo, spanning nine total discs. The Finale picks up where the original left off, with an underground attitude on a dark and sweaty dance floor, non-stop beats and pounding drums on driving techno and deep tech-house cuts. It’s Bedrock boomin’ all the way; big-energy music without the obvious anthems and EDM bro-hyms.
Disc 1 opens with Adam Beyer’s classic “What You Need” before rolling into the acid twists of Scuba’s “Back to Black.” The mix steps in line to march to snappy snares and thick kicks and techno riffs for a bit before easing into the wickedly infectious bassline and trippy leads of Clarian’s “Space Noir.” As the set finally plays out we’re treated to a variety of filtered sweeps, rolling snares and wet grooves. But we’re only getting warmed up. Disc 2 continues on, easing into the hypnotic drum-centric beats of Alex Millman’s “Maria Rosa” and then Clarian’s “Fear & Self Loathing,” followed by the glitchy “Like Flies” from Ben Techy. A few more acid burns, some bleepy bloops, and all too soon the second set is here and gone. Aside from the occasional sample, vocal tracks so far have been few and far between. Instead, the music tells the story through melody, rhythm, sound and emotion.
But as we turn to the last set, things change. Disc 3 rolls out the final chapter. Notables include the haunting Chemical Brothers hit “Sometimes I Feel So Deserted” and follows it up with a personal favorite, “Genesis” from Chaim. The finishing tracks have a softer edge and — no, maybe softer isn’t right. Maybe “less gritty” is more accurate. But there has been a definite progression across the discs, and Sunscreem’s “Perfect Motion” is exactly how this amazing set needed to close.
This is by far one of the best DJ mixes I’ve heard in 2016, and it’s just one more reason John Digweed has outlasted so many others and continues to stand above so much of the competition. There’s just so much great music packed in here that it’d be impossible to detail everything track by track. Where’s the fun in that? Besides, words only go so far. This post-script collection is one of those mixes that needs be heard to be fully appreciated.