Darkbeat 10 year compilation gets huge props…


Darkbeat 10 Years

In an era of electronic music that’s dominated by online mixes and podcasts etc, it’s tempting to question the validity of commercially available mixes. Either way, Australian party promoters- turned label Darkbeat certainly seem to see the merits in doing exactly that, so much so that the imprint’s debut endeavors features not one, not two, but an impressive three mix CDs. And to give each one their dues, they all shine in different ways.

Celebrated globe-trotting DJ and Australian native Anthony Pappa is first up. His mix focuses on contemporary house and tech-house fodder, with the crux of the producers he opts for deriving from European shores. It’s a Canadian, however, who eases the listener in thanks to Guillaume & The Coutu Dumonts’ ”Last Call”; a most apt record with which to open proceedings. For me, though, the cornerstone and high point of the mix has to be Afrilounge’s excellent ”Gold”. It’s cannily manipulated by Pappa too, with its morphing synth-washes playing out excellently and giving the mix a new direction in the process.

Darkbeat protagonist Rollin Collection delves deeper on his outing, a fact instantly demonstrable thanks to Daniel Sanchez’s ominous sounding ”Walking in the Hills”. Gradually, the strippe- back ethos is jettisoned in favour for more uptempo tones, the most momentous of which is Claudia Lovisa’s ”Nightrider”. On this evidence, the Spanish producer is one worth keeping an eye on. The effortless transition between the latter and Steve Bug’s remix of Sierra Sam’s ”Welcome to the Blackout” is another notable aspect of the mix. Further tracks by the likes of Paulo Mojo, Blond:ish and Chopstick & Johnjon then sign off this one with an assured ease that’s indicative of Rollin Collection’s obvious talents behind the decks.

The third of the mixes arrives from another Darkbeat regular, Phil K. K neglects the easy route and chooses the mix as a medium to exhibit his far-reaching influences, a task he fulfills through multiple excellent moments. DB’s remix of Cadillac’s ”Past Midnight” serves up the case in point, before successive turns from US collective 40 Thieves (”Backword Love” and ”Crystal Mountain Thunder”) emphasize their own fledgling potential with some aplomb. Suol mainstays Tricski bring the soul as only they know how on ”Can’t Get Through”, while Ewan Pearson’s disco edit of Junior Boys’ ”Hazel” furthers the guitar/electo vibes that have always proved so popular down under. In all, a three-disc package that, while rarely groundbreaking, does a more than excellent job of showcasing Australia’s vast electronic music talents.