VA: Monza – Club Ibiza Compilation Vol. 2
Get Physical

MonzaClub Ibiza Compilation Vol. 1 occupied the number three slot in textura's ‘Top 10 Mixes of 2006,' so hopes were high when the follow-up arrived. Unlike the first, a mix by London-based Heidi, volume two is a double-disc, UK-meets-Berlin affair with Crosstown Rebels head Damian Lazarus and DJ T. (Get Physical co-founder Thomas Koch) manning the controls of respective sets. Though twice the length of its predecessor, the new release maintains listening interest throughout and, more importantly, maintains the first volume's high standard. The two discs amount to a long but remarkably scenic tour of ‘underground' dance music styles that's never less than engrossing.

In his 80-minute set, Lazarus, characteristically, never loses the groove but, at the same time, pushes the limits of the genre by working in left-turns and surprises, like the hilarious ‘preacher's' sermon (“If House is a nation / I want to be president”) that graces Efdemin's “Just a Track.” One audacious moment follows another: the merging of Outlines' “Listen to the Drums” with “Next to Nothing” by Skull Disco head Shackleton (featuring the vocal talents of post-punk outfit Savage Republic), and Stefan Goldman's remix of Marc Romboy's “Helen Cornell,” a syncopated whirligig fusion of minimal techno and deep-house where soulful female vocals rub shoulders with a gravelly rap. A Prince-styled falsetto drives Konrad Black's electro-fied remix of Snax's “Honeymoon's Over,” while a shuddering choir and woozy synths give Danton Eeprom's “One Thing Leads To Another” a sickly, druggy feel. Four Tet reins in his customary extravagance with a restrained rework of Nathan Fake's “You Are Here,” and Loco Dice offers a splendidly grooving treatment of Dennis Ferrer's “Son of Raw.” The intensity drops following Henrik Schwarz's “Walk Music” with Trentemøller & DJ Tom's subdued soul-jazz gallop “An Evening with Bobbi Bros” leading the charge home.

DJ T.'s mix is a bit more straight-up than Lazarus's but no less satisfying, especially when it opens deliciously with Joakim's snappy remix of Max Berlin's “Elle & Moi” and includes pulsating stormers (T.'s own “The Dawn”) and electro-trance (Martin Landsky's “Let Me Dance”). There's no shortage of memorable moments here too: Carl Craig's electro-house mix of Junior Boys' “Like a Child,” Schatrax's dreamy “Mispent Years,” which actually stems from 1995 though one would never imagine it's twelve years old, and Arto Mwambé's infectious tech-house slammer “Ombala Mbembo,” which marries early ‘90s deep-house vocal stylings to soulful ambiance and synth stabs. Representing Get Physical's sister label Kindisch, Raz Ohara brings fragile vocalizing and sensual soulfulness to “Whitmey Na” while synthesizer showers rain down upon the sleek house groove of Matthias Tanzmann's “Procon.” Not surprisingly, Koch quietens the mix as it heads into its final laps, and opts for elegance in choosing two Dial cuts, Efdemin's silken “Bergwein” and Pantha du Prince's gorgeous string-based epic “Saturn Strobe,” as the closers.

October 2007