Satoshi Tomiie: The Masters Series Part 9

Satoshi Tomiie's maximal, double-disc DJ set is as breezy as an ocean-side cruise in a convertible on a summer afternoon. On Renaissance's ninth installment in its Masters Series, Tomiie works two dozen cuts into an irrepressibly jubilant club mix that's equal parts house party jams and electro-techno splendour. He sets out to create two seventy-minute songs and succeeds with the artists' tracks, despite obvious differences, blending into homogenous wholes. Tomiie never gets too fancy, choosing to do little more than effect smooth segues throughout, but hardly needs to do more when the material sparkles so wonderfully on its own. Soul, trance, techno, funk—it's all here in a glorious, panavision mix that rarely stops pumping thanks to artists like King Britt, D'Julz, Nick Chacona, DJ Yellow, and others.

The seductively dreamy trance of Ripperton's “Farra” pulls you in immediately, and the pleasures keep coming one after another thenceforth: pumping techno-funk (Bot'ox Meets Showgirls' “The16th Machine”), beatific chill-out (Jimpster's “Don't Push It”), luminous trance-house (Jim Rivers' “I Go Deep”), and on and on. A sweetly grooving bass line and fusion-flavoured synth chords power the ‘Freestyle Man Discotronix' mix of Phonogenic's “Air Moves” while King Roc's “Welcome to Zion” pairs majestic swing with classic Kraftwerk-styled melodies. Elsewhere, D'Julz's remix of Thugfucker's “Ahh” mixes jacking beats and electro squiggles flirts into a minimalism cocktail, and Matt O'Brien's “Serotone (Radioslave's Panorama Garage Remix)” turns spooky with writhing synth swells, a dark string drone, and dubbed-out ambiance. The release is primarily instrumental though a few vocals surface on disc two (most notably, Robert Owens' desperate voiceover in the grinding banger “I Need (DJ Fex Fexperimented Mix)”), and Tomiie himself, aided by Audiofly, contributes a track under the Opus Ink name (“Darkroomboot (Sasse Elkatronix Rework)”) which, not surprisingly, stomps as forcefully as anything else. By electronic music standards, the music's not radically experimental but is no less delicious for being accessible. Its non-stop, pulsating flow of sweetly grooving bass lines, soothing strings, and electro stabs is never less than fabulous.

April 2007