22 October 2008

Review: Renaissance, The Mix Collection - Danny Howells

Renaissance, Danny Howells, review
The man with the midas touch Danny Howells has just released the relaunch of the famed The Mix Collection by Renaissance which was made famous in the 90s with the mammoth Sasha & John Digweed efforts. Danny always rocks shit up and this mix is no different. It's everything a Renaissance mix should be and one of the best mixes I've heard in ages. It also includes a number of his own new productions which are top notch.

Review: The relaunch of this famed series from the 90s kicks off in a low key, loungey style - a rhythm oriented groove that Danny does so well. Through the jammy, atmospheric drums of Sven Weismann’s ‘Kiss of Abana’ and his mix of Pulshar’s ‘Nospheratu’ the groove builds to the haunting synths of Klute ‘Only Memory Is A Good One’ and the deep tech-house of Zwo!, a rising artist worth keeping tabs of. Danny starts to plant his foot with the debut of his first solo single in what seems like years. ‘Laid Out’ is a dubby tech-house groove with an almost Jean-Michel Jarre-esque breakdown chord sequence.

Building into more futuristic vibe with the following Naughty ‘Wolrd Of A Woman’ and Westpark Unit ‘ Bad Weeds Grow Tall’ and the mix is starting to sound more ‘Renaissance’ than anything I’ve heard in ages. Layers of percussion, synths and a groove which hooks you so time flies by is the theme of the rest of CD1. Never one to shy away from oldies Danny includes ‘Space Jazz Carnival’ by Azymuth – classy move – before another original of his own, ‘Right Off’, another solid retro-future styled effort.

After his drought Danny has been working in his studio a lot in 2008, starting CD2 with another fresh effort in ‘The Shining’ which leads into the quirky vocals and orchestral elements of Kelley Polar ‘Entropy Reigns’. The spacey section of the mix follows with Santiago Salaza ‘Sci-Fi Xicano’ and David Garcet ‘Ero’ and into tracks from Joris Voorn, Robert Babicz and the brilliant Djinxx mix of Blunt ‘Golden Lake’. One-by-one they add to the intensity, ramping the mix up towards the finish with a pretty techy slant. Renato Cohen ‘Magica’ and Danny’s own edit of Apparat ‘Fractales’ ensure the mix ends with a buzzing vibe.
CDs seldom sound great quiet or loud, on Friday night or Sunday morning, but this is one that does for sure, and in the understated yet kick-ass fashion Danny is known for.

No comments: