Tama Sumo: Panorama Bar 02
Ostgut Ton

Tama Sumo looks ever-so-serious staring out from the cover of her Panorama 02 mix CD but appearances can be deceiving. Oh, she's clearly serious about the mix itself—it's as polished and finely cherry-picked as a mix can be—but its sleek blend of techno and house amounts to anything but a lugubrious downer. Well-known for her wide-ranging Sunday afternoon sets at Panorama Bar, the Berlin DJ injects her set with a steamy deep house vibe that's both gritty and sensual. By her own admission, the mix follows a predetermined trajectory with a laid-back beginning slowly building towards ecstatic and pop episodes that she then caps with the inevitable decompression. Spreading twenty-one selections (seven of them exclusives or previously unreleased tracks) over the eighty-minute trip, Sumo doesn't stay in any one place for long, with many stops no more than three minutes at a time.

The mix sets sail on a whispering tip with Tin Man's serenade “Constant Confusion” but the quiet doesn't last long when the banging house pulse of John Daly's “Birds” enters the fray. The lush and soulful deep house vibe that infuses Jenifa Mayanja's treatment of Nina Kraviz's “Voices” and Steffi's “24 Hours” grows funkier with the arrival of Prosumer & Murat Tepeli's “U & I,” John Roberts' “Blame,” and Trus' Me's “W.A.R. Dub” (whose bass line and snappy slink are to die for). The tenth cut, Shed's energized “Stiff Job,” finds the mix now unspooling at a steady broil, while the eleventh, Redshape's mix of Newworldaquarium's “Trespassers,” oozes a nasty snarl and the twelfth, Mike Huckaby's “Wavetable No.9,” shifts the focus to smeary dub-techno. Even when the mix moves into its final third, the intensity level remains high, as the churning tribal-house funk of The Oliverwho Factory's “Together” makes clear. Lest anyone think of bailing early, Sumo slips in a slice of lascivious pop in the form of Ost & Kjex's “Continental Lover” (which undergirds its spooky vocals and piano house chords with a sexy, Booka Shade-styled groove) before teaming up with Prosumer for “Alien Mutts” and then riding out the storm via Soundstream's “All Night.”

December 2009