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OFF to Amsterdam Dance Event 2013 – Compiled by Andre Crom

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Croooooo.jpgLabel: OFFScore: 8/10 

Andre Crom’s OFF Recordings imprint is, as Forrest Gump would surely attest, “like a box of chocolates”. The reason being, of course, because you’re never quite sure what you’re going to get. So while sample-heavy pastures might have replaced the more nuanced tones of the label’s early beginnings, what’s still evident is that the label owner is a man who can deliver on the big stage when he needs to.

This is evident on his latest mix, released to coincide with the just finished Amsterdam Dance Event. Much like ADE itself, OFF to Amsterdam Dance Event – Compiled by Andre Crom features a diverse cast of DJs from around the world. Not only that, but it also sees Crom do what Crom does best, namely cherry-picking some of contemporary music’s finest house gems and melding them all together under one brilliant umbrella.

The luscious opening strands of Hauswerks’ ”No Escape” get us off to a fine start, with its sultry, infectious tones laying down an auspicious marker. Deep and dexterous and soulful and harmonious, it’s the perfect track with which to kick things off with. It’s often said that within the confines of a 70 minute-or-so mix, that DJs have to compromise and work their way around their sound. Crom’s approach is to go straight in for the kill, and it’s Hobo’s majestic, bassline-heavy ”Incise” that marks the mixes first turning point. Trust me, it’s a rollercoaster ride from here on in.

The action soon comes thick and fast then, although the themes at least are contrasting. Tough Love’sIn My Way”, for instance, injects a soulful and cosmic tinge, Stefano Ritteri & Robosonic bring a dose of percussion and heavy strings to the table, and Martin Ikin’s ”What You’ve Done” brings the suspense. On a mix that’s chock-a-block full of highlights, however, it’s Sidney Charles who walks away with the most plaudits courtesy of his barnstorming remix of Darius Syrossian’sDays Without You”; a track that nestles brilliantly between deep and tech-house planes whilst never pandering to any sort of generic formulas.

There are various other highlights (not least from Deetron, Jimpster and Wareika), but we recommend that you delve deep into this mix yourself to fully revel in its many thrilling efforts. What’s notable, too, we hasten to add, isn’t simply the track selection, but also how it’s all stitched together. Much like the best mixes, there are peaks and troughs throughout, but it’s all spelled out like one marvelous piece of music. In short, it’s a mix that radiates class from start to finish. 

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