Mike Huckaby: Tresor Records 20th Anniversary

A natural follow-up to the formal twentieth anniversary the Tresor Club celebrated in March 2011, 20th Anniversary is a full-frontal tour hosted by Detroit producer Mike Huckaby through the Tresor vaults that sees throbbing cuts by Cristian Vogel, Cisco Ferreira, Joey Beltram, Robert Hood, Bam Bam, Drexciya, and Jeff Mills all given face time. The mix is not only Huckaby's first release for the label but also the first in a series of planned collaborative projects between him and Tresor. The furious BPM remains firmly in place throughout and so too do the pounding kick drums and martial snares as Huckaby guides the listener through twenty-two samplings of pile-driving Tresor techno.

At the hour-long mix's start, Huckaby threads the cryptic stalker voice from Bam Bam's “Where's Your Child” into Surgeon's charging “Remnants of What Once Was” and then never looks back. From Robert Hood's “Master Builder” and Cristian Vogel's “Absolute Time” to Bam Bam's raging “Give It to Me” and Surgeon's eventual set-closer “Black Jackal Throwbacks,” each track segues seamlessly into the next, such that, while contrasts between the individual tracks do declare themselves (Surgeon's “Returning to the Purity of Current” versus Jeff Mills' “Late Night,” for instance), the mix registers as more of a singular, ever-mutating whole than as distinct bits crudely stitched together. As the mix enters its final third, it briefly moves in a more minimal direction before a three-track plunge pulls the listener into Drexciya's deep water universe (“Devil Ray Cove,” “Under Sea Disturbances,” “Digital Tsunami”). Among other things, 20th Anniversary signifies a rebirth of sorts for Tresor Records with the mix's release accompanied by a pair of twelve-inch releases from techno veteran Pacou and newcomer Puresque. Regardless, Huckaby's multi-purpose set can either serve as a refresher of sorts for Tresor devotees of long-standing or a convenient entry-point for those new to the Berlin label.

December 2011