Ruede Hagelstein: Watergate 13

In selecting Prins Thomas's jubilant “Symfonisk Utviklingshemming” as his opener, Ruede Hagelstein takes no time at all in getting his Watergate mix off the ground. Once there, he doesn't stay in any one place for too long either, as the seventy-four-minute set features no less than twenty-five tracks. Fleet of foot, the mix glides breezily from one hard-grooving track to the next, never stopping for breath along its way. Not surprisingly, it's a high-energy approach that keeps the listener constantly engaged and the threat of boredom seldom arises, even when the lights dim during melancholic closing chapters by James Zabiela (“The Healing”) and M83 (“Where The Boats Go”).

One of the things that distinguishes Hagelstein's mix is how smoothly he effects transitions from one cut to the next; he obviously gave great thought to ordering tracks in such a way that seamless blends would result. They happen so subtly, one often isn't even aware the change is happening, such as when Thomas's opener morphs invisibly into Fabio Alampi's “Escape” and when Marco Resmann's “Life About To Change” bleeds into Fischer & Kleber's “Air.”

But even though transitions are subtly executed, noticeable stylistic changes occur as the mix progresses. Thomas's dreaminess first gives way to a harder-edged and funkier charge piloted by Don Disco (“Swing Ibero”) and Chris Wood & Meat (“Cock Robin”) and then the raw soulfulness of Amine Edge's jazzy “Yeah.” Sweaty, bass-heavy house cuts from Manuel Tur (a Jimpster dub of “Back To Me”) and Mike Dunn (“Phreaky MF”) give the mix a powerful charge, as do Shlomi Aber's slinky “Foolish Games” and Carl Craig's remix of Henrik Schwarz's “Take Words in Return.” Hagelstein even finds room for a few moments of humour, as Marshall Jefferson's “Mushrooms,” with its tripped-out musings, makes clear.

If Hagelstein feels comfortable in his Watergate skin, it might have something to do with the fact that he's been a resident DJ at Berlin's Watergate Club since 2006. His ego's comfortably in check, too, as he's largely content to shine the spotlight on others and includes only two of his own productions, the effervescent stormer “Up the River” and “A.R.G.O.,” an electro-fied collaboration with Emerson Todd.

April 2013