VA: Party Animals mixed by Marco Carola & Nick Curly
Cocoon Recordings

Party Animals, the fourth edition of Cocoon's pre-summer mix series, sees Naples-born Marco Carola and Mannheim producer Nick Curly following up the work of Dubfire and Loco Dice, the mixers of last year's collection Ten Years Cocoon Ibiza. Carola and Curly's double-disc set is designed to support the label's summer residency in Ibiza so naturally foregrounds its intended spirit and vibe.

The seventy-three-minute opening mix spotlights Marco Carola's funky side, with many of the sixteen cuts easing into mid-tempo, jacking grooves that're stoked without being frenetic. The pace picks up quickly with a lean and funky slice of foundsound business from Someone Else (the bass-bumping, hootin'n' hollerin' “Zebra Talk den Remix”) and the rolling house strut of Miguel Colmenares (“Into Something (Furr & Hazendonk's Sweaty Bottom Workout)”). The mix plunges deeper when the jacking funk of Miyagi & Ronald Christoph's “No Fashion” segues into Remerc's grooving “Tiny Calf” and Matteo Milleri & Karm's snappy “Grubjo.” The mix rolls on determinedly, only once threatening to break down (halfway through Joseph Capriati's “Tapa Boca”) before regaining its momentum and continuing on its merry way for the duration. The final laps include a check-in with Martin Buttrich's seriously tripped-out “Hoochie Mama” before a final stop with an Audiofly remix of Layo & Bushwacka's “The Longest Day.”

Michi Vajna's “Drosophila's Flight” immediately imbues Curly's mix with a strong sense of urgency and forward thrust, and things heat up even more as the second disc's eighty-minute set rolls out. Injecting a jazzy flavour into the mix, 8Bit Records boss Gorge sprinkles electric piano across the jacking swing of “Makena,” and clangorous chords in Mihai Popoviciu's “Telematiks” add a dubby dimension to the set. What gives Curly's half the upper hand over Carola's is the soulful intensity and deep house drive that characterizes the second disc's booty-shaking material (Julian Chaptal's “Rubix” one example of many). The banging mix ferociously swings as it moves from Ryan Crosson & Guti's “You've Got Me” on to peak-time cuts by Daniel Stefanik (“Just One Moment”), Butch (“No Worries”), and Lauhaus (“Bring It”) and their delirium-inducing vocal acrobatics until eventually reaching port via Lee Burridge and Matthew Dekay's jazzy “Wongel.”

Like many a mix, the two here shy away from showcasing the mixers' own work (there are no Carola cuts and Curly works but two of his own pieces into his set's twenty) and instead focus on providing a solid platform for both established producers and up-and-comers.

July 2010