Fovea Hex

John Luther Adams
Félicia Atkinson
Matt Christensen
Enrico Coniglio
Coniglio / Under the Snow
Dakota Suite
Vladislav Delay Quartet
Mark E
Marcus Fjellström
Fovea Hex
Ákos Garai
Mem1 + Stephen Vitiello
Message to Bears
Rick Reed
Alexander Rishaug
Jannick Schou
Secret Cinema
Seven Saturdays
Sleeps in Oysters
Sound People
Strom Noir
Ryan Teague
thisquietarmy + Yellow6
Amon Tobin
Alexander Turnquist
Damian Valles
Simon Whetham

Compilations / Mixes
Brownswood Electr*c 2
Laid Compilation

David Åhlén
Bad Sector
Wil Bolton
Ed Cooke
Davis / Kleefstras
Detroit: DeepConstructed
Final Cut
Gang Colours
Richard A Ingram
Pfirter / Dadub
Nils Quak
Rhythm Baboon
Mark Templeton
Damian Valles
Josh Varnedore

VA: Laid Compilation

A delicious compilation of artful house music from Dial's palindromic sub-label Laid featuring contributions from high-profile names such as Lawrence, Rick Wade, Marcello Napolitano, and others. Dedicated to inspiring artists of long standing who've kept the house genre alive and healthy (many of them US-based), the label came into being in 2009 with a series of twelve-inch vinyl-only releases (Detroit legend Wade the first out of the gate in May 2009), but now, with ten singles under its belt, Laid has opted to make the selections available on CD. As one would expect, there's no shortage of breezy grooves and luscious bass lines on offer, with the ten producers serving up one classy dish after another.

Lowtec sets the bar high at the start by having “Use Me” swim through a crackling sea of vinyl dust as it carves out a warm space for its infectious loops and samples. “Precious Hall” is a bit more raw compared to the standard Lawrence cut but is no less welcome for being so, especially when its deep bass pulse comes into view after the basic track's laid-back stomp is firmly in place (odd though it might sound, there's also an Ibiza-meets-garage vibe to the track). John Roberts illuminates his “Blame” with all manner of instrumental colour and grooving snap but it's likewise the lithe bass lines that are the cut's tastiest elements. By merging a dancefloor-friendly bottom end with an elegant upper, Smallpeople's “A Place Called Dream” distills all of the release's appeal into a single track.

Wade rolls out his immediately identifiable string-laden stomp in “Ricky's Groove” but adjusts the ominous mood by including a voiceover that, if I'm not mistaken, is the one Morgan Freeman contributed to the 2008 upgrade of the sci-fi classic The Day the Earth Stood Still (“No one would have believed in the early years of the twenty-first century that our world was being watched by intelligences greater than our own…”). Some hint of the shared affinity for swing between house and jazz emerges during Kassem Mosse's “Untitled,” which otherwise roars for ten uncompromising minutes of funky rumble and snap in a way that suggests it'd be as natural a candidate for Jamal Moss's Mathematics label as Laid, and Marcello Napoletano's Rhodes-coloured “Electronic Atmosphere.” RNDM, Christopher Rau, and Black Jazz Consortium round out the cast list, with all involved doing their part to give the collection a fresh and deep vibe.

June 2011