he first tent bpitched in the Camping series cherrypicked from the Bpitch Control label’s first five years, a period where their cheekily diverse, but electro-house centred, tracks found increasing favour and fervour on the dancefloor. This second volume mostly chooses tracks from after the initial volume’s January 2005 release date, concentrating on the year that Bpitch really made an impact on the mainstream of dance music—latest hits rather than greatest hits. 2005 was the year when even the big UK dance mags, DJ and Mixmag, which are like supertankers in their inability to react swiftly, could no longer ignore the popularity of the loosely defined minimal/electro/tech/house scene and put Bpitch and its releases on their year-end charts.
It was the core electro-house releases that won plaudits on and off the floor and primary amongst these was Tomas Andersson’s “Washing Up” 12” which, at the time of writing, is still top five in the juno.co.uk bestseller list eight months after initial release. Included here is the reason for that popularity, the trashy Tiga Remix which hits straight at the pleasure centres with thick, strutting bass, squirming synth lines that suddenly spiral up and up, and spurts of a sped-up “Drop it Like it’s Hot” beat. “Happy Happy” is Andersson in non-remixed form, coasting along on skippy hi-hats and beachball bass, his keyboard ululating joyously over imitation electric piano sonar. Paul Kalkbrenner keeps it tracky on “Deep” which flows as inexorably as the tides and then yokes a trance undercarriage to vocals reminiscent of classic hip-hop sample source “Heaven & Hell is on Earth" (by the 20th Century Steel Band) on “Gebrünn Gebrünn.” The MFA’s “Disco 2 Break” mixes ominous Escape from New York churn with machine beats crisp as a knife-edge and faux-tuff Germanic vox.
But it’s not all big, wide-eyed riffs. Miss Kittin’s remix of label boss Ellen Allien’s “Alles Sehen” mixes gossamer techno-pop with glitches like Mille Plateaux never went bust, and with a title like “Beautiful Belonious Bits” you know that Mochipet are going to be bringing the IDM. Sascha Funke’s two tracks are as glossy and attractive as the casing of an M&M.; “My Computer Eats an Acid Trip” by Sylvie Marks & Hal9000 sounds like, well, Sylvie’s computer eating an acid trip (on acid, etc.) Feadz’ “2Kind4u” wraps red-lined vocal clips in endlessly circling and reiterative organ lines. It’s low-key but one of the best tracks present and one which, like quite a few here, has a thin, murky seam of hip-hop running through it.
Although unmixed, Camping 2 is chopped for pop appeal, with 12” running times edited down. There’s no track here that’s longer than 4:13; an eternity to Phil Spector but barely time for an intro from some dance producers. These tracks may not often be subtle but they are, by turns silly, noisy, diverse, and fun.