VA: Darkroom Dubs Vol.3 - Compiled & Mixed by Silicone Soul
Darkroom Dubs

Silicone Soul members Craig Morrison and Graeme Reedie celebrate ten years of existence for their Darkroom Dubs imprint by helming a collection of their own. And a Silicone Soul affair it definitely is, seeing as how the retrospective threads five of their own productions in amongst ten other label highlights released since April 2010 when Darkroom Dubs Vol. 2 appeared. It's a pumping and upbeat collection designed to keep the dancefloor filled for the full measure of its seventy-five minutes.

Having made their first appearance on Soma in 1998, Morrison and Reedie are, at this stage of the game, more-than-skilled practitioners of the electronic dance music art and so have no trouble putting together a choice set-list of melodic sparkle that flows fluidly and grooves hard. They activate the set with a trippy Silicone Soul overture, “One Thing (Ghost FX),” whose beatless space is rendered more memorable for a quote lifted from Flight of the Phoenix (“I think a man only needs one thing in life and that's someone to love. If you can't give him that, give him something to hope for; if you can't give him that, then just give him something to do”). The mix proper begins, then, with a suitably dub-wise jam by Of Norway (a Frisvold & Lindbaek remix of “Blot Ditt Eige Lam”) and keeps rolling from that moment on. The duo think so highly of Terje Saether's “Scared,” they include two versions of it, one by Gregorythme and an even deeper one by Of Norway, though the thing the listener'll probably remember more than anything is the sultry and soulful vocal Malin Pettersen contributes to the transporting cut. Also memorable are the symphonic sweep Patlac brings to Danza Macabra's driving “The Woods” and the aerodynamic swoon of Freska's funky “Honey From Within.”

The mix is anything but ponderous, with Morrison and Reedie preferring a good-time vibe that goes down easily in a journey that ventures into multiple directions without ever straying too far off course. That upbeat spirit is evidenced by their own tracks, too, whether it's the jaunty house strut of “Midnite Man” and the sax-fueled blaze of the raucous crowd-pleaser “Smokestak” or “Time Mariner's Mirrour” [sic], with its Spanish guitar tinges, and the jacking set-closing “Alive From the Opium Den.”

February 2013