One of the most hotly-tipped leaders of the new school, Uone follows in the footsteps of Kölsch, Patrice Baumel, and Darius Syrossian to deliver a stunning two-part mix for the Balance Series that was two-and-a-half years in the making, and is composed entirely of his own material.
Not limited by boundaries, nor borders, Uone truly is a global citizen. Having spent more than a decade living a nomadic existence, he has soaked up an array of influences and cultures whilst searching the globe for the best parties and most inspiring, like-minded folk along the way.
His career has naturally ascended in this period, highlighted by appearances at Burning Man’s Robot Heart Stage, Fusion Festival, Oregon Eclipse, Secret Garden Party and Boom, all being an integral part of his journey. His production profile continues to rise as well, with releases on labels like Stil Vor Talent, Sol Selectas, Katermukke and his own imprint Beat & Path consistently showing his ability for creating classy, hypnotic slices of deep house and techno.
For his superb debut for Balance, he’s distilled these globe-trotting experiences into a two-part mix, that bears his distinctive sonic fingerprint throughout the 21-track work. Indeed, every track comes from Uone’s production studio, whether it be an original, remix, or collaboration, this sees him going above and beyond the usual mix CD remit to create something truly special. The Balance compilation series also provided an important formative touchstone in his musical education, with his inclusion in the cannon making for a pleasing full circle. His twin mixes feature reworks of progressive house and trance classics (PQM, Jam & Spoon) and references to his home country’s thriving scene from his nascent years via his re-work of the highly-revered, once-mighty electronic band, Infusion.
Collaboration is a defining factor here with the majority of the tracks created in partnership with other esteemed producers. “I love the diversified outcome of these deeper explorations with more hands and minds involved” he explains. Uone sees the collaborative process as being equivalent to that of working as part of a band.
“Collaboration is something that I feel has been lost in production with the electronic age. Back in the day the best magic was produced in bands with people coming together and weaving the collective vibe into one sound.”
With this ethos, Uone has mastermind collaborations with the likes of Jay Haze (aka Fuckpony), Adam Freeland, Mihai Popoviciu, Mojo Filter, Jamie Stevens, Jonas Saalbach and Flow & Zeo along the way, making for an acutely diverse melting pot of ideas.
The first disc slowly builds from mystical vocal excursions using organic instrumentation, which eases us in before the metallic bass tones of Animal Kingdom alongside DJ Schwa raises the intensity. The rhythms switch from techno to house as the pumping groove of his and Andreas Henneberg’s remix of Infusion’s Spike A Drink sends the mix into the next gear. Tribal undertones and Junior Vasquez ‘90s flavour creep in on his rework of PQM’s You Are Sleeping with Out of Sorts, with the duo’s second collaboration with Jay Haze on vocals, Bongo Porn, continuing the frenzied theme. The first of two Jam & Spoon reworks, which came about after Uone met the former duo’s Rolf El Mar on an artist transfer at a festival, throbs pleasingly before an excellent remix of Schlepp Geist’s Those Days by Flow & Zeo brings us to an ethereal crescendo.
The second disc aims directly at the dance floor, opening with the brooding power of Uone & Danny Bonnici’s remix of Luke Chable’s classic The Shepherd. The Jonas Saalbach collaboration Long Sunny Dazze follows, the hazy synth chords add an understated touch of mystery and euphoria. Majestic vocal turns from Philosophia and Sleeping Genie then breeze in to breathe in evolving emotion to the mix. Bold strings continue to cut through on Good Morning Sunshine with Thankyou City, before the mix drives us towards the epic chants of Uone & Jamie Stevens’ rework of Jam & Spoon’s Odyssey to Anyoona, one of the jewels in the crown of this mix. A wonderful remix of Monolink’s Sirens completes the journey, with its mesmerising indie-dance energy a fitting closer.
With such a lofty bar set by his Balance predecessors, Uone’s challenge of delivering something memorable required a deep creative undertaking and his trademark alchemical touch in the studio. He’s delivered in spades with a deeply personal mix packed with exclusive cuts that transports your mind to another plane entirely.
Uone, Adam Freeland, Mojo Filter & Jamie Stevens — After the Blood Moon
Uone & Soda Klop — Space Between Love feat. Briony Taylor—Brooks
Uone & Mojo Filter — Mr Mystik
Uone & DJ Schwa — Animal Kingdom
Uone — Silver Magic
Infusion — Spike (Uone & Andreas Henneberg Mix)
Uone & Out of Sorts — You Are Not Sleeping feat. DJ PQM
Uone & Out of Sorts — Bongo Porn feat. Jay Haze
Uone & Out of Sorts — Whole New Way
Jam & Spoon — Be.Angeled feat. Rea (Uone & Out of Sorts Mix)
Schlepp Geist — Those Days (Uone, Flow & Zeo Mix)
Luke Chable presents Quest — The Shepherd (Uone & Danny Bonnici Mix)
Uone — Karnival Dreams
Uone & Jonas Saalbach — Long Sunny Dazze
Uone & Western — Some Kinda Voodoo feat. Philosophia (Balance Rework)
Uone — Sands of Time feat Sleeping Genie
Uone & Thankyou City — Good Morning Sunshine
Uone & Mihai Popoviciu — Escaping the Winter
Uone — The Hawtin Experiment
Jam & Spoon — Odyssey to Anyoona (Uone & Jamie Stevens Mix)
Monolink — Sirens (Uone Mix)
“I’m still playing the same as I’ve always done, and that is melodic and deep music – never too hard or fast. I’ve been into DJ’ing all my life and I always put personality as number 1 and crucial for any DJ, so I’ve never been into musical trends.” – Hernan Cattaneo
Some seek a permanent state of hype, while others like Hernan Cattaneo find liberation in being freed from the shackles of such intense scrutiny. The Argentine’s refreshing approach to DJ’ing and making music has ensured that over a decade on from the time he exploded into the public consciousness, he’s as engrossing a force as ever. His contemporary sound continues his love of rich melody and atmospheric textures, but draws on possibly a wider palette of producers and styles than ever. “It’s been GREAT years for melodies and thankfully even German techno producers are not afraid to use them anymore” he says. “As a result, I think the music now is the best since the early 2000s. I think the Israeli producers are the most interesting ones, from established producers like Guy Gerber and Guy J to newer people like Chaim or Guy Mantzur, Hakimonu, Sahar Z…” With the renewed interest in what some might call ‘progressive’ styles – Innervisions, Life & Death et al – the time for him to present his enduring sound to the world through this stunning Balance compilation couldn’t be better timed.
Disc 1 harks back to the golden age of downtempo music in the 1990s, evoking classic Cafe Del Mar and Northern Exposure mixes with its sumptuous selection of languid soundscapes. It’s a style that has sadly slipped from the spotlight, coinciding with the death of the chill-out room and the diminished ‘Balearic’ focus of Ibiza in recent years – meaning that Cattaneo’s choice of direction feels all the more special as a result. Indeed, he reaches back to 1999 for the low-slung groove of Boards Of Canada’s opener, before moving into a slew of exclusives and reworked versions of some of his favourite tracks from recent DJ sets to suit the chuggier tempo.
“I started asking some producer friends to make special versions of some of their tracks for the albums, and I’ve been very pleased with the results. I really like the way those tracks interact with the others and in many cases, the new downtempo mixes are even better than the original ones.”
It makes for a highly refreshing approach. The mesmerising new versions give these ethereal dancefloor tracks stunning new context and life – like Chaim’s hypnotic Slow Dance Mix of Blue Shadow – while haunting vocal tracks like Weval’s Out Of The Game provide contrast to the glistening arps and top lines of Mano Le Tough and John Tejada, and a smattering of classics dear to Cattaneo’s heart, such as Gui Boratto’s Half Life. As the mix moves towards its conclusion, the energy and tempo nudge their way towards the clubbier climes of the second disc, culminating in a stunning rework of Guy J’s twinkling Dizzy Moments.
Both mixes are littered with exclusive new productions from Cattaneo and his production partners Soundexile, infusing the mix with an even higher level of his musical DNA and boldly demonstrating what a force he continues to be in the studio. The driving bass of their own Into The Edge propels Disc 2 into life before we plunge into the deeper climbs that he’s so renowned for. More exclusives abound from the duo and others alike, a gently euphoric warmth coming over the mix through their own Parallax and Fugazzi, continuing into driving reworks of Guy J and James Teej as we hit the sweet spot of the mix. New material from Guy Mantzur powers us through towards the finale, the subdued beauty of Cattaneo and Soundexile’s Lotus rounding the compilation off with finesse after a rousing crescendo.
Cattaneo has constructed a truly incredible chapter of the Balance series, beautifully sequenced and mixed and packed full of stunning new material that can’t be heard anywhere else. Such attention to detail and quality should come as no surprise from one of the true masters of the game.
Balance 026 is out on October 13rd 2014 on Balance Music. Check out the tracklist below.
1. Boards of Canada – Aquarius (Version 3)
2. Hernan Cattaneo & Soundexile feat. Luciana – Solitude
3. Chaim – Blue Shadow (Slow Dance Mix)
4. Silinder – Pavement (Paul Hazendonk & Noraj Cue Slow Remix)
5. Mano Le Tough – Changing Days
6. Hernan Cattaneo & Soundexile – Rapideye
7. Derek Howell – Happy To Be Sad (Derek’s Happy Again Mix)
8. Mercurio feat. Catnapp – On My Way to Hell (Balance Mix)
9. The Field – No. No… (John Tejada mix)
10. Moderat – Clouded (Interlude)
11. Weval – Out of the Game
12. Mike Griego – Sponges
13. Hernan Cattaneo & Soundexile – Ginga
14. Spooky – Shelter (Slow Phase mix)
15. YEWS – Believe, Belong
16. Hernan Cattaneo & Soundexile – Lunar
17. Damabiah – Irminsul, le pilier du Monde (2014 Edit)
18. Gui Boratto – Half Life
19. Guy J – Dizzy Moments (AM Mix)
1. Hernan Cattaneo & Soundexile – Into The Edge
2. Roi Okev & Hakimonu – Changes
3. Chaim – Underwater
4. Ivory Street – Modjo (Andy Arias Interpretation)
5. Hernan Cattaneo & Soundexile – Parallax
6. Hernan Cattaneo & Soundexile – Fugazzi
7. Cid Inc – Fragile Circle
8. Khen – Sweet Break Up
9. We Need Cracks – Joran
10. Guy J – Esperanza (Santi Mossman Rework)
11. James Teej Feat. Richie Hennessey – Disclosure (Simon Vuarambon Remix)
12. Guy Mantzur & Sahar Z – Patterns (Guy Mantzur’s 2014 Remix)
13. Guy J – Lonely Color
14. Hernan Cattaneo & Guy Mantzur – Imaginarium
15. Hernan Cattaneo & Soundexile – Lotus
Few DJs have been so consistently revered as Danny Tenaglia. The fact that he’s never been out of favour with the house and techno fraternity is testament to what a talented and passionate selector he remains to this day, some 30 years since he began DJ’ing in his beloved Brooklyn, NYC. From those early years through the birth of tribal and progressive house through to his 4/4 eclecticism and more recent techno-focused output, he’s always remained in that esteemed and elite category of ‘a DJ’s DJ’. Honouring Balance with his first compilation in six years and adding to a body of mixes that includes some indisputable classics, Tenaglia continues the custom of bringing something truly special and unique to the Australian series.
It’s been six years since the release of his last compilation – a long time in anyone’s book. He puts it down to nothing more than the difficulties of juggling DJ’ing and producing – and when Balance came knocking, it was simply a case of timing and reputation. “When I was asked to do this for Balance, I did some research and felt a connection. Balance is a ‘quality, not quantity’ record label and I already respected all of the artists on their roster and thought it would be a great outlet for me to also share a bit of my journeys with people who passionately love dance music. I also appreciated the details that they put into each release.” Accordingly, he has meticulously re-edited almost every track on this engrossing double CD to imbue his own subtle level of extra detail into the proceedings, choosing to present his vision of the (largely) contemporary techno sound that has found him in such good fettle at places like Berghain and his current hometown’s key club, Output.
Tenaglia is still very much a traditionalist when it comes to the compilation format. “I still strongly believe that nothing will ever compare to the feeling you get when you pick up a record or disc, place it in your player, sit back and listen while holding on to the cover and reading the liner notes and looking at the photos” he says. “It takes people’s minds closer to what the true spirit and nature of the project is really all about. I also believe that is extremely important to avid fans and collectors to know as much info as possible regarding each track and who else may have been involved in the process. This is sadly missing from digital downloads. You almost never get to know anymore who the musicians, singers, engineers, and other important people involved are and way too often today the artist and remixers on many releases hog all the credit, and it’s just not fair. I never believed in that. When you give proper credit you receive proper credit.”
TRAKTOR has helped breathe new life into the art of DJ’ing for him, and its presence is clearly woven into this compilation’s DNA in the most creative of fashions. “TRAKTOR has me working harder than ever because now I take many of my favourite classics and find ways to blend them in with much of the new music I love today, which is basically what appears on this CD.” Citing the bursting of the minimal bubble as a turning point for techno, he says the genre’s less frenetic focus has likewise been a huge influence on him. “I could’ve never predicted this but I do feel that techno is most definitely better than ever. That’s mainly because the tempo has finally gotten below 130 BPM. This made techno more soulful, more swingin’, more bouncy and made you feel it like you never could’ve felt it at near 140 BPM.” Indeed, on this Balance mix, you’ll find a slew of cuts slowed down from 130 BPM and beyond to suit his chuggier pace.
Tenaglia wastes no time in making his desires known, the dramatic bass tones and seductive chimes of 04LM’s Tragicaller making for a commanding opener. The mood builds with the soft melodies of Reboot’s Banging Ear Drums, rhythm gaining weight until the gargantuan riffs of MRI’s Es Geht Um Mehr and Dosem’s anthemic rework of Hot Since 82 slice through mix. Things take a turn for the weirder as bugged out technoid grooves take centre stage, Alex Under’s hard jacking stabs and Sanys’ atonal synth grunts leading us through darkness towards the teasing builds of Nicole Moudaber’s rolling Movin’ On. He lets a little of his tribal heritage shine through with a touch of Michel Cleis’ Basement Jaxx re-reub, before Thomas Schumacher’s twanging acid and diva vocals leads us towards a dubbed-out closer.
His second disc again teases tribalism in its early stages, finding the sweet spot between those infectious rhythms and the driving energy of techno, his re-editing magic now in full effect as the re-warped vocals of The Yellowheads’ Red Light District weave around a galloping groove and Antigone’s metallic refrains get some auxiliary support in the rhythm section. The ethereal tones and chattering breakbeats of Dax J’s Dreamscape appear like a beacon of light alongside these moodier textures, as does Laurent Garnier’s triumphant remix of Gregor Tresher’s Nightcolors. These moments of euphoria are tantalisingly fleeting though, as things get tripped out again through mind-bending snippets of Herva and 2 AM/FM, and through the deep techno of Craig McWhinney. It’s a brutal finale, leading through Jonas Kopp’s incessant thumping, Sin Sin’s heady energy and Exploit’s UFO pounding us into submission.
The tougher vibe embodied in this compilation may come as an initial shock to some Tenaglia fans, but it’s as oozing with charisma, atmosphere, sleaze, drama, emotion, tension and energy as anything he’s ever done. Repeated listens reveal hidden details, and it’s inspiring to hear someone who has been doing their thing for so long continuing to embrace the cutting edge while still weaving in lesser-known gems from the past.
Out on 15th September 2014 on Balance Music. Preview cd1 below.
1. 04LM – Tragicaller
2. Ugo Carrano – GBass
3. Reboot – Banging Ear Drum
4. Talismann – Zula
5. Cowboy Rhythmbox – Shake
6. Ø [Phase] – Dirtro II
7. MRI – Es Geht Um Mehr
8. Hot Since 82 – Planes & Trains (Dosem remix)
9. Kernel Key – Out of Body Experience
10. Gabriel D’Or & Bordoy – Element 84 (Alex Under remix)
11. Sanys – Dominance
12. Tom Laws – The Yellow Enemy
13. Pherox feat. Lee Curtiss – Black Copy
14. Nicole Moudaber – Movin’ On
15. Mancini (ManJas) – What I Think (Yamen & Eda remix)
16. Basement Jaxx – Mermaid of Salinas (Michel Cleis Isla Dub)
17. Thomas Schumacher – I’ll Do You
18. Dadub – Existence (Kangding Ray remix)
1. Architectural – 04.1
2. Funkndy – Station
3. Regis – Cold Water (Substance Version)
4. The Yellowheads – Red Light District
5. Antigone – The Melody
6. Antigone – The Time Merchant
7. Lewis Fautzi – Binary (Oscar Mulero remix)
8. Dax J – Dreamscape
9. H.O. – Deletion 3
10. Gregor Tresher – Nightcolors (Garnier Without The B Devotions remix)
11. Herva – Snow and Clouds
12. 2 AM/FM – Acid Planes
13. Svreca – Overgang (Oscar Mulero remix)
14. Attemporal – ATT9 (Craig McWhinney remix)
15. Spear – Cognitive Dissonance (Miki Craven remix)
16. Brian Sanhaji – Datalogger (Jonas Kopp remix V1)
17. Sin Sin – Grounded
18. Exploit – UFO