Grand Cru 2007 / Rekids One
Connaisseur / Rekids
B / B
ne thing that Peter Chambers doesn’t really credit Kompakt for in his recent review of Total 8 is the label’s breadth of sound. Sure, they’re a rare organization that has enough resources to properly hedge their bets, but you’d be hard-pressed to be able to point towards a “Kompakt” sound these days. Not so with Connaisseur, though. The Frankfurt-based label specializes in progressive house, making sure each track is chock-full of niggling melodies and sweeping, epic chords.
The difference, however, between Connaisseur and Bedrock is pedigree. Ripperton, Daso, Estroe, Patrick Chardronnet: all of these artists have strong ties to the prevailing minimal sound and, as a result, filter their big, dumb, and romantic tunes through minimal aesthetics. On Grand Cru 2007 you can hear this immediately. Ripperton’s “Zugunruhe” is content to let three lengthy notes back up the track, but shaking tambourines, glittering xylophones, and a bulbous bass help spice things up. Things are never dumb: but it, like most of the rest of the tunes on offer here, are very much big and romantic.
One label you could certainly accuse of being dumb, however, is new English sensation Rekids. To celebrate their one-year anniversary, they’ve gone ahead and done what took Kompakt more than five years to generate enough cojones to contemplate: released a double-disc set of their work. Then again, as an important cog in the machine that is inevitably trying to bring decent dance music (read: relevant) back to England, maybe they deserve it. Either way, the result is a bloated one—with, as expected, enough highlights to warrant one-half of its running time.
Radio Slave, one-half of the label’s steering committee, does a good job of letting you know exactly what you’re in for with two track titles: “My Bleep” and “Next Stop Chicago.” Detroit and Chicago are the prevailing influences on much of the work on offer. Mr. G’s “E.C.G.’ed” is a tribute to the birthplace of acid, while Toby Tobias updates Detroit for the 21st century on “Dave’s Sex Bits.” The remixers follow suit on the second disc, but do have slightly more expansive aims at times (Prins Thomas, Quiet Village, and Roman Flugel all stop by and say hello). Chalk that simply up to Rekid’s enormous first year success. Both they and Connaisseur have it exactly right: if you build bangers, they will come.
Reviewed by: Nina Phillips
Reviewed on: 2007-08-23