Label: Clouded Vision
Release Date: Out Now
The rise of the internet has had many benefits, from the geeky practicality of online banking to staying in contact with our friends around the world and erm… watching animals do ‘hilarious’ things in procrastination fuelling videos, we think most people not in some sort of religious cult would agree that overall the development of the world wide web has been a good thing. One thing that it has not been good for however is the mix compilation. Drag and drop culture slowly eroded at the soul of the ‘mixtape’ until the maligned format almost became as disposable as many of the rushed tracks that were making their way onto them.
Luckily, there have been some artists and series that refused to give up on the mix compilation and when done properly they can be a joy to behold. For example who can forget last years edition of DJ Kicks when uber talented Spaniard John Talabot took the helm or when Sandwell District took the reins for Fabric 69? Worthy of mention alongside those mixes was Matt Walsh’s 2011 effort Matt Walsh presents: The Clouded Vision Experiment and thus I was delighted to receive news that Matt had announced that this summer would see him deliver the long awaited sequel and approached the release with high hopes.
Packed to the gills with exclusive content Matt Walsh’s nous as a savvy label head shines through throughout this album but none more so than when listening to The Clouded Vision Experiment, Level 2 as a continuous mix. Kicking off with Eskimo Twins ‘Elegy’ Level 2 quickly establishes a more driving nature than one might expect. This is unashamedly a peak time mix engineered to move dancefloor and for that we salute Matt for his boldness. Once a ‘dirty word’ within the all too often snobbish world of electronic music journalism if we see a resurgence in electro, however it is rebadged to engage the interest of musical fashionistas it will be in no small part to mixes of the likes of this with dark crunching tracks like The Hacker’s ‘The Outer Limits’ reminding us of just how cool the genre can be. Perhaps our favourite track of the album however comes in the form of a remix from Matt himself of Parisian duo Remote in which the Clouded Vision boss strips ‘Alycone’ and the mix back to its bare bones. Signed to Gesaffelstein’s Zone Records after being noticed on a French blog by The Hacker, it appears to be onwards and upwards for Remote and as Data Transmission predicted when it featured them in its new talent section they appear destined for big things.
Now let’s talk exclusives. The best mix compilations have always featured fresh cuts, be it tracks especially crafted for the release in question or the DJ curating the album’s access to the hottest tracks available before anybody else. On the exclusive front this is an album that delivers in spades, with the cuts on offer not just exclusive for the sake of it but great efforts in their own right. Markus Gibb, Tkuz, Scott Dech, Pete Callard, Fort Fings Dynamo and Markas serve up these offerings and in this writers humble opinion they’re worth the price of admission alone with Dech’s synth laden ‘Electric Power’ serving as a particular highlight.
I shouldn’t really have to tell you how good this is if you already know about Matt Walsh and his Clouded Vision imprint. However, if this may happen to be your first introduction to the man and his magical music then you could do no wrong by simply going out and buying this to get properly acquainted with his work for yourself and see what all the fuss I’m making is about. Matt and his label have again delivered what is quite simply an essential purchase for anyone who likes techno, electro or simply good music. Period.
Looking to grab a copy for yourself? Then head to cloudedvisionrecordings.bandcamp.com/album/matt-walsh-presents-the-clouded-vision-experiment-lvl-2