VA: Buzzin' Fly Volume 4
Buzzin' Fly

“The long road that leads to pleasure” a Figurines' singer plaintively sighs during label maestro Ben Watt's latest Buzzin' Fly volume, and the phrase aptly captures the set's gradual build to rapture. In contrast to the more episodically contrasting style of the third installment, volume four escalates slowly through its first quarter, with Watt tightening the noose through multiple episodes of tension and release. His segues from one track to the next are so seamlessly executed, the mix feels more like a singular piece of subtly deviating character than a collection of unrelated pieces stitched together. It's worth mentioning that many of the new outing's cuts are unreleased, by new artists (including Moscow's Kimouts and St Petersberg's BarBQ), and issued on Buzzin' Fly or Watt's new imprint Strange Feeling.

The set lifts off nicely with the burbling house swing of BarBQ's “Barbi in Love” and the hypnotic spoken word acrobatics of Jennifer Valone; even at this early stage, the mix's picturesque ascent begins with the tune rising towards its end as it segues into Pedro Madeira's galaxial “Long Shadows” and its minimal, Kraftwerk-styled synth theme. By the time Watt's own “Just a Blip” drops, the groove, though now comfortably settled into position, keeps intensifying and determinedly pushing forwards with a prototypically syncopated house rhythm leading the charge. Abyss's “Mind Games” arrests the mix's propulsive flow in a chilled breakdown halfway through before standing to attention when it morphs into “Blink” by The Green Men (Sasse and Nick Chacona). However, it's Manoo and François A's steaming “Magnètic” (specifically its thunderous kick drum and hi-hats) that brings the disc to its first euphoric peak. The silken “Lost” by Mlle Caro and Franck Garcia adds a subtly percolating, Latin-house elegance to the proceedings before Watt's rework of Figurines' “Silver Ponds” shifts the trance vibe into poppier territory, especially with the startling inclusion of a “Billie Jean” bass line (there's even a Michael Jackson yelp following a well-timed pause). Soon thereafter, the mix gradually descends until it settles into the melancholic shimmer of Jimpster's remix of Justin Martin's “The Sad Piano” and the return of Valone's calming voice.

How does the new collection fare next to the third? Admittedly, nothing on volume four is as singularly arresting as the third collection's “Lose Control” by Darkmountaingroup but it would be difficult, if not impossible, to match that peak. If Buzzin' Fly Vol 4 isn't quite at the same level, it's nevertheless another superb outing, especially when broached on its own terms rather than comparatively.

June 2007