Compilations / Mixes
Steffi: Panorama Bar 05
The fifth mix CD in the Panorama Bar series, courtesy of resident Steffi (Dutch DJ-artist Steffie Doms), offers one particular surprise over all others: in place of the usual shape-shifting mix that undergoes dramatic shifts in style and intensity as one artist's cut follows another, Steffi's largely hews to a particular concept from start to finish. Even though there are contrasts (how could it be otherwise when the sixteen underground techno and house cuts come from different producers?), she nevertheless imbues the all-instrumental set with a strong street party vibe that's a natural outgrowth of the mix's rhythm-heavy focus. Flow is thus the keyword, with Steffi never letting the groove lapse but instead keeping the mix's locomotive pulse beating insistently throughout and using congas, shakers, and cowbells to help do so (in that regard, the inclusion of DJ Skull's “Don't Stop The Beat” feels especially apropos).
The mix glides elegantly into position via Palisade's “18:30,” a rain-swept, Redshape-produced moodpiece that establishes the mix's earthy tone from the outset. Its percussion-heavy focus also comes into focus when congas surface to add to the tune's alluring, late-night vibe, after which a sprinkle of sunlight adds sparkle to Endian's warm microhouse jam “Doze.” That expansive spirit carries on into Chris Mitchell's “Lonely Nights,” its early morning uplift amplified by a liberal dose of sweetly singing synthesizers, and remains in place thereafter. By the time the mid-point's reached (with Juju & Jordash's “A Stab In The Dark” and the wild shuffling swing of John Barera & Will Martin's flute-tinged “Reality”), the material is overflowing with high energy and bounce. Following a full-on disco turn embodied by DJ Fett Burger's “Disco Tre,” its funk groove spearheaded by a raw guitar riff, and Juergen Junker's cowbell-dizzy “Post Reunion,” Steffi rolls out her own acid-fueled stormer “DB011” and Dexter's equally powerful brain-addler “Jawada.” Doms opts to end the mix with one final hit of high-energy splendour in the form of Trevino's funky, bass-powered “Juan Two Five.”
Mixed at her home using two turntables and a mixer, Panorama Bar 05 is most definitely not a gathering of old-school classics, as only one cut stems from 1992 and the rest are recent tracks by a number of Steffi's own favourite artists (six exclusives are featured, with ones by Big Strick, Fred P, Dexter, Juju & Jordash, and Steffi herself among them). In making her selections for the eighty-minute mix, Steffi expressed a desire to feature contemporaries that inspire her. In the same spirit, it's easy to imagine that her Panorama set might do much the same for others.