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Darkbeat – 10 Years

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DBRCD001_Cover.jpgLabel: DarkbeatScore: 8/10

Australian promoters Darkbeat have positioned themselves as one of the country’s foremost promoters over the years, a fact in no small part attributable to their most adept booking policy and keen ear for talent. As their agenda switches to a mightily impressive 10 years in the game, they turn their attention to their recently established Darkbeat Recordings imprint, with a 3CD offering that celebrates not only everything that’s great about the imprint, but everything that’s great about the still burgeoning Australian electronic music scene, too.

Aussie native Anthony Pappa is the star-turn here, and it’s no surprise to see him turn the most emphatic of the mixes on offer. As is Pappa’s forte, he weaves through multiple styles on a mix that neatly encapsulates his DJ prowess. Guillaume & The Coutu Dumonts‘ last call ushers in matters amongst an onslaught of spooky brilliance, before the intensity is gradually upped thanks to efforts by Kasper Bjorke and Hot Since 82′s majestic re-working of Los Suruba’sMantis.” The highlight of this round, however, belongs to Mano Le Tough, whose remix of Roisin Murphy’sSimulation” continues to wow as one of the year’s biggest tracks thus far. Elsewhere, disco-tinged gems arrive courtesy of Dirty Culture and Diynamic boss Solomun, before Tom Demac’s frankly terrifying ”Critical Distance (Hrdvision Remix)” adds an unlikely sense of menace to the equation. The home straight is littered with even more unsuspecting moments, but it’s Ame’s remix of Ry & Frank Wiedemann’s wonderfully melancholy ”Howling” that delivers the highpoint on Pappa’s wonderful mix.

Next up on mix duty is Rollin Collection AKA Daniel Banko. One of the founders behind Darkbeat, his mix saunters with a confident edge that belies the fact that this represents his first commercially available mix. Banko’s mix wastes no time in getting down to work, but it’s Steve Bug’s remix of Sierra Sam’sWelcome to the Blackout” that creates the first tangible ‘moment’ on the mix. This is compounded by efforts from Claudia Lovisa and Polish duo Catz N’Dogz, with the latter’s ”They Frontin” lending the journey through sound a real classy edge. Hector Couto and Darius Syrossian then up the ante in their own unique way on ”Metal”, with the pace of the latter adhered to until the mix’s closing moments, by which stage Chopstick & Johnjon’s considered remix of Digitalism’s classic ”Zdarlight” closes matters with some elegance.

The final installment on the heavyweight package is left to Phil K, a resident at Darkbeat and widely considered one of Australia’s most technically proficient mix-masters. Such qualities come to the fore on his mix, one that embarks on a diverse saunter through all that’s good and great about contemporary electronic music. The beep-heavy, cosmic strands of Dizz 1′s ”Mystify My Eye” offer an early case in point, before rising German producer opts for a percussive-heavy approach on his wonderfully glistening remix of Cadillac’sPast Midnight”. Disco, and guitar loops characterise the mix’s mid-section, before fabric resident Daniel Avery ups the ambiance considerably thanks to the wailing, clap-heavy strands of ”Flashlights”. The most dizzying eclectic mlx of the lot, Phil K panders to everything from latin percussion to Detroit grooves on his effort. A wonderful run-through modern day electronica from multiple corners of the globe, it’s assured but often subtle, but also abrasive and unrelenting when it needs to be. All three Djs deserve fine recognition for their efforts here, but it’s Mr.K who’ll deservedly walk home with the plaudits.

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