Various Artists ‘John Digweed – Structures 2’

Various Artists / John Digweed – Structures 2

CD / Digital 

Bedrock Records / Released June 2011


What does it sound like? 

Plain & Simple favourite John Digweed selects an expansive collection of cuts from the home stable to deliver perspectives on his label, progressive house, techno, and downbeat. Plenty of boxes ticked then.

Disc One showcases back catalogue Bedrock releases taken down ambient avenues, making for a seamless journey into the beatless and beautiful. A far cry from cheap and cheerful chill out rehashes though here the results of removing angst, aggression and, in many cases, kick drums are impressive. Which goes for the somewhat exotic, trance-pipe warm up that is Tom Middleton’s mix of Guy J’s Easy As Can Be, the Ambient Mix of (imprint classic) Beautiful Strange, and everything in between.

The third instalment opts for a more contemporary approach, taking in new bombs on the label from some great names. Inkfish’s Detroit seems to sit on that fine line between new and old school with an analogue sounding production, dominated by vocal loops and staccato drums. Robert Babicz is also present in full force, 2 Colours being one of ‘those tunes’- all sledgehammer kicks and rupturing low ends set to occasional keys, synth waves and a mechanical rhythm, marrying techno with an undeniable groove and kind of summarising the CD overall- deep, atmospheric and purposeful.

The sandwich filling is perhaps the segment people will spend the most time feasting on in the long run however, a result of it offering a relatively rare live recording of John Digweed live from L.A’s legendary club Avalon. As you’d expect it’s a tracklisting telling of a man who’s managed to keep his head in a pretty good position, boasting big room pull with a respected underground musical status. As rolling as it is heavy, the likes of Shonky remixing Ellen Allien (Searching), and Timo Maas’ brooding, crunching Kick 1 Kick 3 never sounded so good.

Where would I dance to it? 

Wherever there’s a room full of people and an overheating amp.

What highlights can I expect to hear? 

Really has to be the mixed disc, and not least thanks to treats like H.O.S.H. and Mistress Barbara’s dark, gritty stepper Finally Mine or the Sarah Goldfarb remix of Isolated Funk Ensemble from Philogresz, an anthemic five minutes of electro fireworks and vocal chants realised through a multitude of textures.

Which isn’t to say the whole package isn’t highly recommended, and for more reasons than simply to get your hands on huge, clanking percussive numbers like Follow by Paneoh featuring Maetrik, and Oliver Lieb’s pulsating Parallax, as the soundscapes offered on the ambient brew are equally evocative. In short, with this institution’s reinterpreted past showcased alongside its present anyone with even just a passing interest in quality electronic music needs to think very seriously before leaving this collection on the shelf.”

Why should I pay for it? 

Boxsets feel real.

Where can I buy it? 

Juno, Chemical Records.