Aidan Baker
Big Farm
The Black Dog
Blackshaw & Melnyk
Budhaditya Chattopadhyay
Matthew Collings
DJ Koze
Hanging Up The Moon
Jenny Hval
Rena Jones
Mark Lorenz Kysela
Leonhard + Red
Piano Interrupted
Pursuit Grooves
David Rothenberg
Terminal Sound System
Andrew Weathers

Compilations / Mixes
Kumasi Music Volume 1
John Morales
One Point Three (A & B)
Maceo Plex
Soma Compilation 21

EPs / Cassettes / Singles
Alter Echo & E3
Badawi VS Ladyman
Bunnies & Bats
Diffraction of Sound EP
The Monroe Transfer
Chris Octane
Katsunori Sawa
Andy Vaz

VA: Soma Compilation 21-Mixed By Gary Beck

In his first ever commercially available mix CD, DJ-producer Gary Beck guides the listener through a tour of the Soma vaults, one specifically focusing on tracks from the past year. There are some inspired choices in the mix, perhaps none more so than the idea of opening it with “Tonality of Night - Spiral 1,” a cut from Rod Modell that's a beautifully deep and textural example of his Deepchord style. Wave upon drifting wave of chords, crackle, and hiss draw the listener in as a prelude to the clubby tunes on the horizon. One more surprise awaits, though, before we get there: an Ambivalent remix of Joe Stawarz's “M17” that conjoins a pulsating groove to a melodic overlay that's striking for being so unexpectedly mournful. After that beautiful moment, the mix generally unfolds according to form, though its adherence to convention doesn't render it any less enjoyable.

The pace intensifies as it moves through “The Viking,” a pounding techno throwdown by Heiko Laux and Steve Rachmad (aka Sterac), a hot-wired VonStroke mix of “Mothership Reconnection” by Scott Grooves (featuring Parliament Funkadelic), and “You're Digging Into Me,” a choice slab of electro-funk from Mark Henning. Mark Reeve amps up the bass rumble for his blinding techno stormer “Dice,” whose relentless chug Beck is more than happy to keep in place for his own locomotive epic “Algoreal.” The mix loses no steam as it moves into its final laps either, with Matthias Tanzmann's infectious rework of Silicone Soul's “Right On, Right On” a terrific addition and Ricardo Villalobos's remix of Envoy's “Seawall” a smooth outro.

Exclusive to the compilation is a blazing Christian Smith & Whebba remix of the Funk D'Void classic “Diabla,” and a few other details recommend the release, too: most mixes of its kind are in the eighty-minute range, whereas Beck's is a leaner sixty; and rather than trying to squeeze in as many tracks as possible into the hour-long set, Beck incorporates twelve only, a move that in turn gives each one room to breathe and make its case without being cut off prematurely.

May 2013