Various Artists ‘Secret Weapons’ (DJ History)

Various Artists / ‘Secret Weapons’ (DJ History)

CD / 2 x LP / MP3 / Released 4th October 2010

They make great books, and have accurately documented the development of DJ culture for some time. They also release quality compilations, unearthing forgotten gems from the world of ones and twos.

Short of trying to marry the folks at DJ History we can’t make it much clearer how happy we were to hear about their latest collection of tracks. Thankfully, it doesn’t disappoint. Not that we ever thought it would.

Spearheaded by main men Bill Brewster and Frank Broughton, you probably haven’t heard anything from this 12-strong selection before. Unless, of course, you’re Prins Thomas, Chris Duckenfield, Luke Solomon, or any of the other characters who have chosen these classics, rarities and hitherto unsung anthems. From the depths of such distinguished record bags to your discerning ears, there are more than a few reasons to rush out and buy this album, right now.

Things kick off with a taste for hip-grinding flavours, as Jesse Rae’s Rusha steps out, in all its electro-funk glory. Soon thereafter we’re taken to a synth pop soundtracked European dance bar by Moonboots, who throws Carmel by Sapho into the melting pot. It’s not long before more syncopated sounds come to the fore, though, with Boxsaga’s shuffling house builder Zen & The Art Of Deadlines setting the pace nicely, providing a rare instance when a string of divided tunes develops as a DJ’s mix would.

Chin-stroking followers of Freaks will no doubt salivate at the prospect of bagging Derrick Carter’s bouncy, cymbal and sample-happy Sound Patrol Orchestra release, Tripping Among The Stars, some 13 years after it originally hit the dancefloor. Royksopp’s bassline remix of Anneli Drecker will work anywhere, and there’s no denying how utterly right the sleazy funk soul vibes of Bullet Train’s Bang Bang sound. Coupled with Skylite by Boogie Butt, it’s a welcome return to the bar area to finish things off after the pacier club cuts.

As much a retrospective journey as it is a clear sign of how constant some sounds have been. It’s compulsory to head bob, shoulder strut and foot tap from start to finish, proving that one of the most knowledgeable brands in dance music has done it again.