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Single Of The Week Single Reviews

Selador Showcase (The Eighth Wonder) Pt.1


It has been consistently noted in these pages that Selador has become an important narrator of the electronic music story over the last few years. Once you understand that the curator’s ears are progressive house legend Dave Seaman and scene stalwart Steve Parry you begin to understand the quality and heritage of the legacy they bring. I tend to think that the last 12 months have seen a real consolidation of the Selador sound, progressive yes, but with a crossover into techno and house territory, a nod to the past but with both eyes firmly fixed on the future.

No more is this evident than with Selador‘s showcase. Often these collections of tracks from various artists can go terribly wrong, incoherent in style and substance, but the ‘Eighth Wonder Pt. 1’ pulls together the Selador sound with a series of tracks from artists close to the label such as James Teej, Rambling Fields and Steve Parry himself.

Steve‘s ‘Michelada’ sets the scene with a deep, driving and funky, seven minute journey of analogue drenched progressive house with a dash of techno. This is Steve‘s most mature work to date, complex and detailed, building to a natural peak of energy with a surge of pads and a searing lead overlaid with a dark, fidgety riff and wild analogue spirals. I can see ‘Michelada’ getting major support with some of the leading jocks.

The wonderful James Teej comes next with one of the most organic and driving tracks I have heard for some time. We all know that James is a real talent (the recent ‘Shady Warehouse Acid Redub’ of ‘Follow The Shade’ on Get Physical is a recent example). ‘Bonzai Tiger’ is nine and a half minutes of melodic bliss underpinned by a pummeling techno kick. It is a journey that earworms its way into your auditory cortex and send those signals to dance out at a billion neurons per second. The detail and musicianship here is sublime, it was made to make you dance but it’s one of those tracks that just stops you in your tracks. A real treasure.

Joris Biesmans‘Menneke’ is another stellar production with its firing lead melody, that is catchy and credible, clever counter and solid bass. Not quite progressive, techno or tech-house but a combination of the three this is quite a peak-time moment.

Collective States have been developing their deep techno sound for a short while with some significant success. Tracks on their own High Tide Recordings and the excellent Knee Deep in Sound with forthcoming releases on We Are The Brave. Here they turn in an acidic groove populated with spoken samples and choral pads, building through a solid drumset, snare rolls, interesting percussion and some melancholy pianos. A very useable track and mature sound.

Tumbling Fields finish up the package with a bass-led melodic track with some intricate melody and nice randomised arpeggios and catchy vocal snippets.

Buy the tracks separately or Mixed by Steve Parry. There are some gems here, and whilst the mix is a great way to listen to the tracks I would suggest the strength of this release is the solidity of the individual tracks for DJ’s. Miss this at your peril.

Score: 9/10

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