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7YEARSHIVE.jpgLabel: Hive AudioScore: 9/10

7 years might sound like an odd milestone to celebrate, but in the case of Switzerland’s Hive Club, it’s entirely appropriate. The label’s connected imprint, Hive Audio, has been busy churning out expressive and intricate musical snapshots for some time now, with the music they lend their name to growing stronger and stronger with each passing year.

And with Matthias Meyer’s omnipresent “Free Your Mind” a cornerstone of 2012’s ‘6 Years Hive’ compilation, it was tempting to wonder if the label could top such a feat. Yet top it they have, courtesy of their latest (and perhaps, their greatest such instalment yet), the familiarly titled ‘7 Years Hive’.

Label heads Animal Trainer open the savoury concoction courtesy of “Drop In”, a vocally prevalent effort that’s among the more light-hearted of the litter. Fellow Swiss producer Deneha then serves up “Aldebaran”, a deeper effort complete with glistening strings aplenty. Two tracks in, and the labels fondness for eclectic, thought-provoking electronica is already apparent.

Such unpredictable traits abound throughout too. German duo Monkey Safari for instance, unleash “Grow”, with Mykel Anthony’s wailing vocals forcing parallels with masters of the old-school such as Ce Ce Rodgers. Brazilian house music export Joyce Muniz’s “Dope Selector” is deep house with a sporadic northern African twist and Zombie Disco Squad’s “Ghetto” sounds lifted straight from the Dirtybird camp. WILDKATS & Tboy’s “Whateva” is well, very much its own individual entity, and it’s worth noting that the best bits here are accompanied by less conventional techniques.

Nothing is ever as might have anticipated on ‘7 Years Hive’, and it’s very much a compilation that shows scant regard for the rule book. Which of course, is a good thing. This is a clever package that speaks volumes of the Hive crew’s clever A & R duties.


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