VA: Superlongevity 4
Overseen by Zip & Markus Nikolai, Berlin-based Perlon returns with 16 distinctive cuts for its fourth Superlongevity outing. Available in double CD or quadruple LP formats, the set rolls out the usual coterie of label stars (Luciano, Ricardo Villalobos, Soulphiction, Dandy Jack, et al.) whose material is collectively earmarked by Perlon's mercurial, house-flavoured swing. Unity doesn't preclude differences, however: Luciano's chattering machines take “Blake Purple” for an astral cruise, narrowly colliding with new Perlon recruit Stefan Goldmann's intergalaxial reverie “Darkstar” while Villalobos sounds like he's performing sucking voice tricks at the lounge bar during the shuffling acoustic swirl of “Balacharde.”
But though the collection definitely earns its recommendation, it doesn't wholly satisfy, with some pieces diminished by a lack of development. Pantytec's “Maybe Not” and Melchior Productions Ltd.'s “In The Shadow” sound great but also spin their wheels in place a tad too much (the title of the latter, for example, repeats so unvaryingly it grows tiresome). (It bears mentioning that any comment on the release—positive or negative—is qualified by the fact that the disc reviewed is a single-CD version of the release with all versions 4-minute 'promotional edits'; consequently, whether such tracks impress more in their longer form remains open to speculation.) A track like “Ixchel” by Dandy Jack And The Third Leg, on the other hand, progressively overlays a smooth pulse with squiggles and dubby noises and then vocodered chants and a jazzy synth line, and consequently proves more engaging. Sometimes, there's not necessarily traditional development yet such a wealth of mutating detail one's interest is held nonetheless (the jungle house of Cabanne's “Smiling Papers” and the smeary scuffle of Dimbiman's “First Laki”).
Unlike many compilations, some of the best cuts arrive in the late stages: Markus Nikolai's breathless vocal cut “Wheelsucker” throbs delectably (its chain sample a seeming reference to Kraftwerk's “Tour de France”), and Matt John's “Landing,” a fabulously driving groover besieged by a barrage of dubby shrapnel, and Horror Inc.'s spectral coda “The Absent” are strong too. Leave it to Narcotic Syntax (James Dean Brown and Yapacc), though, to provide the disc's most arresting moment: “Raptors Delight,” a collaboration with Misty Roses' Robert Conroy. In this captivating electro mutation, a burbling bass line slithers alongside rambunctious rhythm clatter while Conroy recounts a tale of obsessive amour fou where the speaker sadomasochistically likens himself to Prometheus (the mythological figure who, having stolen fire from the gods, was condemned by Zeus to have his regenerating liver eaten daily by an eagle for a term of 30,000 years). Conroy's lyrics are so distinctive they're worth quoting in full: