King Unique/Nubreed: Electric 02
EQ Recordings

EQ covers multiple realms in its second Electric volume: King Unique's disc rides a euphoric wave throughout its glorious 70-plus minutes while Nubreed's relentlessly grooving, booty-shaking mix aims its target squarely at the groin. Following upon Gavin Keitel's initiating installment, this second outing in the Balance offshoot series is, quite simply, superb as both discs offer peak samplings of their respective ‘underground' genres.

On disc one, King Unique (Matthew Roberts and Matt Thomas) gets things right from the outset by selecting Modeselektor (“Ziq Zaq”) as the inaugurating artist but that's hardly the high point . True to form, the mix heats up slowly but early peaks hit with Steve Bug's irresistible stormer “You Make Me Feel” and Wighnomy Bros.' tribal groover “Moppal Kiff.” The inclusion of two seminal Booka Shade cuts (“Night Falls,” “In White Rooms”) doesn't hurt either, nor does the burning “Fernweh” by Extrawelt and the melancholy cool-down “Phobos” from Stephan Bodzin vs. Marc Romboy.

Melbourne trio Nubreed (Jason Catherine, Michael Walburgh, Danny Bonnici) immediately reconfigures the mood in the second half, starting with the bleepy electro of Headland's “Nitefall” (which sounds so similar to Ellen Allien one might take it for an Allien alias). Sexy dance grooves thenceforth dominate in tracks like the delirious stutter-funk of Milton Jackson's “Tech No,” the spacey jack of Alex Kenji's “Cyborg,” and the synth-squealing gyrations of Speculum's “Backdoor” and Muz & Mann's “Panik.” Leave early and you'll miss Sarah Mcleod's raw vocal performance on the pulsating closer “He Doesn't Love You.”

December 2006