VA: Hatched Vol. 1

Seven years young, Claude VonStroke's Dirtybird label weighs in with a thoroughly club-ready compilation packed with bass-heavy house music and served up with no modicum of fun and high spirits. Brace yourself for a deftly executed twelve-track stream of elastic bass funk grooves, dizzying arrays of wild voice edits, and all manner of tripped-out windups and breakdowns. The best track is up first, a sparkling collaboration between VonStroke and Eats Everything called “Ignorance Is Bliss” that surrounds what sounds like a crackly vocal sample lifted from some old river song with an irresistibly funky, claps-driven pulse. Nothing that follows grooves quite as deliciously as their splendid bass thumper, though a few come close, such as Christian Martin's “Waiting,” a stunning blend of soulful house moves and serious sub-bass undertow, and Catz ‘n Dogz's stealth bomber “Bring Me That Water.”

A few cuts aspire to be little more than filthy bass-booty anthems, such as “The Major” (“Funk you right on up / We're gonna funk you right on up”) by Klasse Recordings' Sacha Robotti. But often a surprising twist or two makes a given tune memorable, such as when Kill Frenzy gradually slows the tempo in “Booty Clap” before kicking it back into gear or when Tom Flynn drops a serious deep house episode into the middle of the otherwise piledriving “Jerry's Liquor Store.” Samuel Dan sprinkles “Bitch” with a few bits lifted from Young MC's “Bust A Move,” while sirens and harp swirls play musical chairs throughout Kingdom's “SFX.” Soul Clap even gets in on the action with an edit of Nick Monaco's “Long Kiss Goodnight,” and DJ Cra$y's “That Amen Track (BrEaCh's Return To 93 Remix)” dusts off and breathes new life into that painfully familiar though eternally fulminating “amen” break. Hearing it roar alongside a looped series of tinkling arpeggios turns out to be an anything but unpleasant experience. Hatched Vol. 1 isn't out to cure cancer but lift one's spirits, and on that count the heady collection surely succeeds.

March 2012