VA: VOLTT Amsterdam: Volume 1 (Mixed By Bart Skils)
100% Pure

On his first official mix disc VOLTT Vol. 1, Bart Skils (who partners with Anton Pieete in District One) weaves sixteen booty-shaking cuts into a snappy eighty-minute set that provides a succulent overview of the Dutch club scene. Since 1998, VOLTT has served as a platform for Amsterdam's house and techno music-makers, and it therefore comes as a bit of a surprise that the mix series wasn't inaugurated earlier. The first volume's vibe—no doubt other volumes will follow in due course—is upbeat and nimble-footed, with Skils at the helm of a streaming set characterized by what one might call quirky minimal tech-house.

The tracks gallop without pause, as skipping beats and bright, oft-cut-up voices replenish the mix with endless reserves of energy. David Labeij (“Shakedown”) and Lauhaus (“Give It Up”) give it a strong boost in its early stages before Julien Chaptal's thrusting treatment of Simon Baker's “Way Out Of My Head” really sends it on its way. In addition, Spencer Parker surfaces by way of a Nick Curly remix of “Zanzibar,” Skils struts down a “Catwalk” of his own design, Joris Voorn disposes of his “Empty Trash” in a soothing dub mix, and Pitto's “The Feeling” (in a District One makeover) does a slinky shuffle for eight feverish minutes. Julien Chaptal's “Mamdaye,” an infectious and hypnotic hurricane of jacking beats and vocal cut-ups, is representative of the album's style. If there's a downside, it's that the mix rarely strays from that style and neither does the tempo change greatly either; it's to Skils' credit that the set proves endearing despite such caveats, in large part due to the infectious energy that enlivens the recording from start to finish.

December 2009