VA: Back to Back Vol. 2

The second installment of Mobilee's compilation and DJ-mix series, Back to Back Vol. 2 pairs an unmixed disc of originals (previously unavailable on CD) with a guided tour of the label's catalogue with DJ GummiHz (Londoner Alexander Tsotsos) as the guide. Mobilee's sleek and sophisticated “minimal” material motors along tastefully on disc one so listeners craving Dionysian sweat and passion might want to turn to the more muscular second half for that kind of release. It's easy to underappreciate Mobilee's material when its artistry is so understated so turn it up to hear how relentlessly Marc Antona scatters an arsenal of noises and effects over the locomotive groove in “One More Sugar.”

The collection opens fabulously with the smoothly pulsating “Faces,” by Pan-Pot feat. Vincenzo, and the tune's delicious marriage of house and bluesy jazz swings elegantly. The crisp swing of GummiHz's “Song for a Muse” builds slowly until it becomes a delirious, bass-crawling raver. Clanging chords and dubby riddims push GummiHz's “Point of View” in the direction of Basic Channel-Chain Reaction. Jennifer Cardini goes deep in the hypnotic “August in Paris ” while label-head Anja Schneider impresses with her slinky “Belize.”

The harder-edged second disc exudes a seductive vibe as it shape-shiftingly burns through twenty-seven tracks (four GummiHz tracks—two exclusives—plus multiple cuts from Pan-Pot, Exercise One, Marc Antona, Anja Schneider, Sebo K, Marcin Czubala, Jennifer Cardini, and Sleeper Thief), all of it seamlessly stitched together by GummiHz (largely executed in real-time using Ableton Live) into a seventy-minute set. Hypnotic polyrhythmic grooves and tribal delirium combine to psychotropic effect and disc one classics (such as Sebo K's “Too Hot”) make return appearances in GummiHz's stoked mix. And anyone who thinks Mobilee's "minimal" sound is too polite should proceed directly to the mix's final minutes where a furious climax is unleashed.

A winsome voice intones “Words are useless” in Cardini's “August in Paris ” and the phrase succinctly captures the experience of listening to Back to Back Vol. 2. It's music more perfectly designed for basking in than chattering about. Crank it loud and enjoy the ride.

March 2008