Luke Fair: Balance 011
EQ Recordings

Though some of the names on this eleventh installment in the Balance series are immediately recognizable—Voom Voom, Robag Wruhme, Francois K, King Britt, David Holmes, to name a few—, others are less so, but that hardly matters when Luke Fair spins the colourful threads of his thirty-three, carefully-chosen tracks into gold. The Canadian DJ/Producer nurtures a mood of controlled euphoria throughout the two discs, with sparkling house and techno cuts coming together beautifully in a fluid, seamlessly woven mix that beautifully captures the feel of a complete club set.

The mix plunges into the deep end with Voom Voom's lush overture “Vampire Song,” picks up speed with Bioground's slamming “Smooth Summer Nights” and Wamdue Project's electro-funk groover “Home Planet,” and never looks back. One of the set's most distinctive features is its slow ascent; Fair builds intensity gradually in the opening eight songs until Delgui's "Highlights" brings about the first peak, after which the mix bursts wide open with Julien Jabre's epic “War.” Fair injects his tripped-out house core with trance (Acca's “Rain (Gravity dub)”), dub (Kinka's “Burnin'”), and even hints of acid (Shik Stylko's mix of Jordan Rivera and Ferry Nice's “Africando”). Highlights include Ruhig Brauner's ultra-funky remix of Robag Wruhme's “K.T.B.” and Francois K's blaze of synth ecstasy “Time and Space.” A churning synth army charges through Elektrochemie LK's “Lay Here” and Tiger Stripes' mix of KLMNT's “Zouin” during the set's more ferocious second half. Fair's mix grooves so mightily, it almost omits a chill-down though Humate's “Curious” does close the collection with a deep house elegance that mirrors its opening. Previous Balance installments by James Holden, Desyn Masiello, and Paolo Mojo impressed mightily, and Fair's outing clearly evidences no drop in quality.

May 2007