VA: Four:Twenty Music 03 (mixed by Glimpse)

What impression would listeners new to Four:Twenty form after hearing Glimpse's mix? Chances are words like funky, minimal, and soulful would appear most often. The Bristol label's Music:03 is ‘body music' for sure, and exudes a degree of sweat that too many other mixes lack. Glimpse (Christopher Spero) arranges twenty-seven tracks selected from the label's fifty-release catalogue into an hour-long house mix that's smoother, subtler, and more homogenous than most. Part of the reason why it sounds so cohesive is because particular names show up repeatedly in the mix, with James Mowbray, Leiam Sullivan, D.Ramirez, Solomun, Cherry, Jim Rivers, and Class 71 all making multiple appearances (also along for the ride are remixers Manuel Tur, Move D, Loco Dice, and Christian Prommer, among others).

“Free Harmonic Blues” by Mowbray and Sullivan gets the mix moving with a lithe snap and swing that Rivers et al. perpetuate in their own clubby cuts. The mix goes deep from start to finish, and funky and tribal too as it powers its way through Solomun's “Explicit” and “Deadman,” Two Armadillos' “Butterfly,” Loco Dice's “Phat Dope Shit,” Cherry's “Momo” and “Conona,” Martin Buttrich's “Medicine Man,” and more. An ululating sprinkle of Indian chanting here, a slice of throbbing tech-house and dubby house there, and a whole lot of bass-powered thrust pretty much everywhere else and you've got the idea. As it enters the final laps, the feverish pitch gradually eases up, until coming to rest with a wistful, piano-and-vocal-based coda of Sigur Rós-like character. Spero, whose Drifting EP appeared on Carl Craig's Planet E and whose debut studio album, Runner, will be issued on Cross Town Rebels in early 2010, brings a soulful and oft-jazzy vibe to this fabulous mix plus an improvised feel too (stemming to some degree from the fact that Spero uses only analogue equipment and, recording most of his tracks live, edits afterwards).

January 2010