Various Artists, You Are My Mate

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[Dial]


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Dial had been releasing its lean and emotive variety of techno/house for nearly seven years before breaking to a larger audience, but the recognition could hardly have come at a better time. Last year the Hamburg-based label, owned and operated by Peter M. Kersten (Lawrence/Sten), Turner and Carsten Jost, cranked out two of their best releases to date — Efdemin and This Bliss by Pantha Du Prince — upon which a great deal of praise were deservedly heaped. With fans and DJs craving minimal techno and house infused with feeling (the harbinger of today’s deep-house revival), Dial and its back catalog proved ready, even prescient. Having seen the future, Dial focuses on the present with its first release of 2008, You Are My Mate, which re-introduces the labels’ stars over the course of five all new tracks.

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The compilation also serves as a launching pad for the hotly-tipped collaboration between Carsten Jost and Carsten Klemann, My My’s DJ arm. Their “CC01 (Detroit)” is surprisingly fully formed, bouncing between fuzzy and clear tones over stereo-panned drums, layered with somber piano chords which linger, and bolted in place by zealous claps and hi-hats (although I could do without the trite “Detroit” vocal sample). Also making his first solo appearance on wax is Oliver Kargl aka Rndm, one half of Pigon with Efdemin. In fact, his “Wakefield” is certainly a highlight of the compilation, which fires off evocative vocal bursts above humming synth pads and squelchy and stunted stabs.

Pigon, however, frustrates on its own contribution. Whereas previous tracks like “Promises” found the sweet spot between repetition and development, “Helios” milks its low key riff and tight tom pattern for too long before releasing slightly spooky synth noodles, which themselves underwhelm. Sten fairs better by offering his take on resonating, Mountain People-eque synth work and rolling hand drum percussion on “Fortune.” For his first track since the album, Pantha Du Prince forgoes beats all together and concocts a sighing ambient soundscape with an almost shoegaze quality about it.

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That You Are… closes with Phantom/Ghost covering a Right Said Fred track of the same name is poignant, as its simplistic piano/vocal arrangement and sympathetic gait neatly sum up Dial’s appeal with a bit of cabaret flair. Perhaps that’s a stretch, but if nothing else it shows Dial will still take chances, which has already paid off. You Are My Friend is an enjoyable compilation which portends good things for the rest of the year.

Trackbacks

Little White Earbuds » Little White Earbuds June Charts  on July 13, 2008 at 7:49 PM

[…] (buy) 07. tobias., “I Can’t Fight the Feeling” [Wagon Repair] (buy) 08. Rndm, “Wakefield” [Dial] (buy) 09. Move D, “Drone” [Modern Love] (buy) 10. Peter Grummich, […]

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