Prosumer: Panorama Bar 03
Ostgut Ton

Prosumer's Panorama Bar 03 isn't so much an innovative advance on the mix genre as a summative sampling of past-and-present styles associated with house music. Packing seventeen cuts into sixty-seven minutes, Achim Brandenburg keeps things moving by never letting the mix stay in one place for too long and balances the set-list by weaving four exclusives (Steffi, Soundso, Soundstore, T.S.O.S.) in amongst a selection of raw classics from producers such as Theo Parrish, Fingers Inc, and Jeff Mills (under the Servo Unique guise for 1993's “Let's Swing It”).

Perhaps the mix's most affecting cut is its first, “Sadness,” a stirring slice of emotive house in which Steffi Doms deftly blends a mood of fragile melancholy with understated dancefloor elements—think Lawrence-styled elegance crowned with an affecting female vocal. A less-than-subtle segue moves us from that open-hearted outpouring into another clandestine house cut, “Heard,” DJ Duke's silky smooth tribute to Chicago house legend Larry Heard, after which Prosumer exchanges the classy understatement of the opening pair for fiery house blaze in the tracks that follow (Heard himself features later on in the company of Ron Wilson and Robert Owens for the 1988 Fingers Inc cut “Music Take Me Up,” featuring a typically impassioned Owens vocal). Hunee's rambunctious “A Leaf For Hand In Hand,” a creamy tech-house swinger from Soundso, and a jazz-tinged banger from Theo Parrish (the vibes- and piano-laden “Twin Cities”) follow in no short order, before the mix abruptly halts and then dusts itself off with a little help from Morgan Geist's “Current,” all luscious swirls and radiant splendour, and Romanthony's jacking anthem “The House O' God.” The energy level moves up a notch when the peak-time throb of Circulation's “Sincerely” and electro fire of Soundstore's “Take U” arrive on the scene, and subsequent cuts extend the mix into stripped-down house-funk (“Prove It” by J.T.Melody presents Tina René) and wiry tech-house swing (T.S.O.S's “Over And Over”).

Brandenburg's mix ultimately proves to be neither earth-shattering nor genre-advancing but a nevertheless satisfying tour through the archives and new releases racks. If Panorama Bar 03 is modest on ambition grounds, its aim—a history lesson seamlessly encompassing past, present, and future—still rings true.

June 2011