Ata: Live at Robert Johnson Vol. 7
Live at Robert Johnson

The seventh volume in the Live at Robert Johnson series finds club co-founder and long-time resident DJ Athanassios Macias, aka Ata, at the helm. Though he's never released a single twelve-inch, he's nevertheless achieved a significant stature within Germany's house and techno scene for having co-founded Klang Elektronik, Ongaku Music, and Playhouse during the ‘90s. What distinguishes his mix from others is that it's more like a party set than fluid mix; Macias adopted a hands-off style by allowing each record to play out in its entirety and eschewed dance cuts for old favourites, most of them obscure and rare vocal-based Italo-flavoured tracks from his own collection.

Italo isn't the only genre flavour worked into the mix, however, as Macias also blends New Wave, funk, ‘80s-styled B-boy breaks and claps, electro, and chunky analog synth themes into a rollicking set that's all about good times and high spirits. Jazzy saxophone playing gives Quando Quango's “Atom Rock” an added spring in its step, while hammering beats, vocoders, and chiming synth patterns march through Marsico's storming “Funk Sumatra.” Memorable also are the anthemic soar of Jo Squillo Eletrix's “Avventurieri” and the electro-funk blaze of Information Society's “Running” and Endgames' “First, Last-For Everything.” The music's old-school feel is reinforced by the omnipresence of vinyl crackle, which also feeds into the illusion of records being played in rapid succession at a party. Though the disc ends on an breezy note with Rah Band's uplifting “Clouds Across the Moon,” the music more often than not suggests some effervescent spawn of ABC or OMD crossed with Kraftwerk. Tracks by Ellison Chase, David Keaton, Xymox, I.M.S., Grauzone, and Zwischenfall round out the release, and trainspotters might be interested to know that Ata's mix is the penultimate installment in the Live at Robert Johnson series, with the final chapter, a mix by Dixon, scheduled for later in the year.

May 2011