VA: Flight 18: Touching Down in Miami

Asked to co-host an event at the 2007 Miami Winter Music Conference, Immigrant not only jumped at the opportunity but significantly sweetened the deal for attendees and non-attendees alike by assembling an eighty-minute compilation that showcases the imprint's roster. Though that description might make it seem like the collection was assembled on the fly—and, for all we know, perhaps it was—, the quality level remains high throughout. Even better, placing its artists' contributions together into one release highlights their stylistic differences, thereby challenging those who dismissively lump ‘minimal techno' practitioners into one category.

Collectively the propulsive material features no shortage of distorted voice samples and stomping beats but individual tracks align themselves into separate groupings. Some are straight-up bangers, like Ferrante & Rosselot's acidy surger “A Veces Si, Otras No” and Fan Erhalder's “Zollamt” whose spacey synth melodies cycle dizzyingly over a throbbing rumble; others are looser and more laid-back, like “Holiday in Hawaii,” which Manuel De Lorenzi spices up with the funky clip-clop of ‘horseshoe' percussion, and Robert Di Micco's lithe “Matt.” Others straddle both worlds: Neurus' “Cuentos” starts its eight-minute journey in standard minimal mode but then disarmingly enters an off-kilter experimental zone filled with distorted voice samples, and Vadim Lankov's “Stereomania” likewise opens with the pitter-patter of soft beats and bass warble before morphing into a full-bore stomp. Some swing mightily, like Z@p's “Al Galope” which, spurred by a skipping bass pulse, gallops proudly. Ashique's “Made in Alaska ” features a classy mix of strutting breakbeats and melodies that flicker like fireflies while Aldo Cadiz's “Villaloca” tears it up with pounding kick drums and a grooving shuffle pulse. Best of all, DJ Cocoe's “Just Dance” rises to the top with Mukwenda's soulful vocalizations gliding atop funkily shuffling rhythms and creamy synth accents.

May 2007