Matthew Dear: Body Language 7
Get Physical

Having matinee idol and resident Ghostly International MVP Matthew Dear (aka Audio, False, and Jabberjaw) helm the DJ chair for the seventh edition of Get Physical's Body Language series is one sure-fire way to rouse even more interest than usual but the set holds up very well indeed regardless of whatever star power he brings to the proceedings. Judging by the material's earthy “body music” feel and the presence of vocals and voices that dot a number of tracks (e.g, Kalabrese's funky “Cityblues,” DJ Koze's “I Want To Sleep,” the hootin' and hollerin' accompanying Kid Sublime's stoked house jam “Basement Works Vol. 1”), Dear applies the Body Language concept literally to his selections. The mix's sensual vibe comes to the fore repeatedly, from the grooving sub-bass driving Samuel Davis's funky remix of Sascha Dive's “Street Life” to the skip and bounce that drives Martinez's galloping “Retrospective” and Johnny D's “Tramodyssee.” To his credit, Dear's inspired artist selection favours rising stars rather than too-familiar names, with relative newcomers such as Buzzin' Fly artists Two Armadillos and Mlle Caro & Franck Garcia rubbing shoulders with a more established artist like Kompakt maverick DJ Koze.

The clatter of a train pulling into the station is the first sound we hear, intimating that the seventy-six-minute set is fundamentally about movement. Certainly Dinamoe's propulsive house track “The Green French One” doesn't disappoint in that regard and neither do the nineteen jacking cuts that follow. At disc's center is Mlle Caro & Franck Garcia's “Dead Souls” in its hypnotic Radio Slave version, plus we get refracted afro-techno from DJ Koze (“Zou Zou”) and serpentine house from Seth Troxler & Patrick Russell (“Doctor Of Romance”), among others. Dear largely eschews dramatic peaks and valleys, opting instead for even-keeled propulsion from beginning to end, and even contributes an exclusive track, “Free To Ask,” whose combination of acidy electro-house swing and gravelly vocal help make it an album standout. In sum, Body Language 7is about as solid a mix as you'd expect from him and it's refreshing too to hear him cap the mix with the bass-heavy thrust of Lorenzo's “Get Deep” rather than exiting on a donwtempo tip.

December 2008