VA: Nummer Eins

Though the Hamburg-based label hafendisko label has only been in operation for three years, its effervescent and free-spirited vibe would appear to have come into clear focus. That's at least the impression generated by its first label compilation, Nummer Eins, a digital-only, 108-minute collection that makes a convincing case for the label's club-oriented electronic music and artists such as Unkwon, Kasper Bjørke, and Lightbluemover. Of the fifteen tracks featured, nine are new exclusives while the remainder includes remixes by Ewan Pearson, Jimmy Edgar, Vincenzo, and SLG.

The opening cut, Snacks' “Easy,” establishes a breezy tropical tone in sprinkling exotic bird chatter and warm synth textures over a snappy, bass-prodded strut. Deo & Z-Man's “Penelope” keeps the party going with an irreverent, synthesizer-spritzed stab at nu-disco, whereas effulgent's perhaps the best word to describe Yannick Labbé's blissful reverie “Sugar Coated Insult” and 99 Blows' disco-fied twinkler “Slow Burning.”

Tailor-made for the wee hours, Simon Hinter's “Easyweezy” opts for late-night splendour in its soothing synths, tinkling chimes, and jazzy broken beats. As atmospheric is Francis Harris's “In Case You Love,” an evocative moodscape whose cello-sweetened house pulse plays like an aural transcription of peaceful slumber. As laid-back as it sometimes is, Nummer Eins also includes a number of muscular club cuts, among them Panthera Krause's gyroscopic charger “Oblisk” and Brynjolfur's funky, bass-stomping dub mix of “The Save.”

On the remix tip, Bjørke's “Apart” gets recast as a pulsating, synthesizer-heavy club workout by Ewan Pearson in an aerodynamic, ten-minute instrumental treatment. The collection's poppier side comes to the fore during Vincenzo's acidy makeover of Faded Ranger's “Be On the Lookout,” while LG sweetens the slinky strut of Deo & Z-Man's “Universal Neighbours” with bright, kalimba-like melodies and Jimmy Edgar reboots Tiger Fingers' “Little Drummer Girl” as a sultry electro-funk jam. Refreshingly light-hearted and free of lugubriousness, Nummer Eins offers a welcome two-hour respite from the encroaching gloom of an ever-darkening world and its abundant challenges.

April 2015