Konrad Black: Watergate 03

Following upon previous installments by Onur Özer and Sascha Funke, Konrad Black's Watergate mix opens fabulously with the light-speed dopplerisms of Alex Cortex's “Nachttarif.” Steely shards fly hypnotically past like Daytona 500 race cars while a thumping bass pulse slowly moves into position followed by the track's coup de grace, a beat pattern that moves in mere seconds from buoyant house swing to techno throb to funk groove. If nothing that follows quite matches Cortex's track for aerodynamic thrust, the mix still registers as a solid assemblage of cuts from the likes of Loco Dice, Matthew Dear, Seth Troxler, Ben Klock, Louderbach, Mathew Jonson, and Black himself. Of course the album title and label refer to the five-year-old Watergate Club in Berlin , situated by the river Spree and home to resident DJs like Black. In his hour-long and predominantly techno-based set, Black—a founding Wagon Repair label member and Minus associate—digs deep into classic cuts as well as new, unreleased productions.

After Cortex sets the stage, D.Diggler and Raudive settle things down a bit before Özer's overhaul of Loco Dice's “Breakfast At Nina's” and Black and Martin Buttrich's grooving “Siamese Connection” start the mix churning all over again. A masochistic techno jam from Matthew Dear and Seth Troxler, “Hurt,” brings a menacing vocal-based dimension to the proceedings—Dear's low growl offset by a faint, mid-pitched yelp—while the desperate crooning in Louderbach's serpentine “Shine” adds a viral gothic touch to the mix. Jonson's “Walking On The Hands That Follow Me” brings the album to a surprisingly subdued end but otherwise Black pitches the mix at a level of controlled frenzy with driving tracks by Ben Klock (“Sub Zero”), Discogs (“Real Love EQ”), and Paul Ritch (“Evil Laff”) ensuring that the dance floor stays crowded.

July 2009