VA: Dessous Summer Grooves 2
Dessous Recordings

In which Steve Bug's Dessous Recordings makes good on the titular promise of its second collection of grooving tunes. No new ground is broken in the release's fifteen tracks, but game-changing isn't the intent; instead, the 107-minute set satisfies its more modest goal of serving up summery jams tailor-made for sunny afternoons and sweltering nights. Appropriately, the emphasis is less on chilly techno than on deep and soulful house cuts, and the best tracks are the Balearic-flavoured ones as they most complement the humid outdoors vibe. All are granted ample room to strut their stuff, too, with the average cut clocking in it seven minutes and the longest, a sultry Axel Boman remix of Vincenzo & Language's “Merry Go Round,” creeping up on ten.

Though the release starts on a somewhat surprisingly laid-back note with Walking Shadow's “When It Hurts,” it doesn't take long for the big guns to come out. Kyodai's rerub of Echonomist's “Keys to Life” (featuring G-Tech) serves up a thunderously hard-grooving and bass-hungry shuffler spiced with a spacey voiceover. Soul Minority's mix of Jamie Anderson & Owain K's “Do You Know” is rendered memorable by a voiceover of its own: a laundry list of names cited in question form—“Anyone know who Billy Strayhorn was?... Anyone know who Stan Getz is?...,” etc. In “Gilmore Hereux,”Alex Blaxx resourcefully exploits a modest number of elements—a breathy voice sample, acoustic piano, and dive-bombing synth effect—to maximum advantage, while deliciously grooving bass pulses elevate the sexy swing of Andy Ash's floor-filler “Mindflow” and Andrade's delirious “Internal Affairs.”

Even slightly left turns, such as Burnski's and Morgan Geist's respective makeovers of Phonique's “For The Time Being” and “Casualities” (both featuring Erlend Øye vocals), still groove, and consequently Dessous Summer Grooves 2 deviates little from its core concept. Put simply, the comp's summery tunes would work equally well booming forth from an outdoors festival stage or out of one's backyard patio speakers.

August-September 2014