TF Archives

Progressive Obsessive - April 05

Author: Dean Millson
Tuesday, April 26, 2005
If memory serves me correctly, and lets face it these days it probably doesn't, I believe I started my last column with an apology about how not quite monthly my "monthly" column was. I even recall somewhere were I promised get my act together and make sure my words of unwisdom were submitted on time... Well, as I'm sure by this stage you're probably no longer willing to believe any more of my promises perhaps I'll just shut my mouth and pretend nothing has happened...

The first half of 2005 sees a busy roster of great new mix CD's about to be released. Firstly we have Balance 7 (Mixed by Chris Fortier), which offers 3 CD's of lush, deep and techy beats for your listening pleasure. As if that wasn't enough however we also have the next instalment in the Therapy Sessions collection, mixed this time by Dave Seaman and Luke Chable, and the long awaited new Global Underground release from Danny Howells in Miami. A rather impressive shopping list if you ask me.

I have the chance to have a good listen to each of them and they're all top notch. Balance 7 should especially surprise a few people as Chris Fortier has really dug deep into his collection, putting together a mix the crosses deep house, breaks, electro techno and progressive sounds. As they did with James Holden, Balance have once again shown that they are at the cutting edge, and I'm tipping that this mix may once again remind people that the "progressive" is still alive and kicking in progressive house. Luke Chable's Therapy sessions outing also deserves a mention with a fantastic blend of twisted, tripped out acid breaks mixed in with his usual big room, melodic progressive sounds. Having had the opportunity to hear Luke DJ quite a few times in 2004 he's continuing to stamp his mark as an extremely talented DJ as well as producer. He's currently residing in Europe until late 2005 with a busy touring schedule, which from what I hear is going very well. He's also set to launch his own label called Trojan Records. The first release looks to be a tune that Luke has been a big fan of for some time now titled Cruel Summer by Mannel. Check the 3 Beat Label Management site for more details on what will definitely be a label to watch out for.

Andy Page has been busy as usual, especially with his most recent offering called Serpent. If you're the proud owner of Phil K's recent Y4K mix you'll be familiar with this tune as it's the last on the CD. If there's one thing than Andy can do it's continually push the envelope with respect to what is possible production wise. Before Serpent I would have been happy to argue that Guitars and electronic music don't quite fit but I'm happy to be proven wrong after hearing this track. The good news is that it should be getting a release very soon on Blueprint Recordings (run by Habersham & Numinous). Even better news is that the flip side of the release will most likely be another AP original as opposed to a remix. Andy has also completed a new collaboration with Danny Bonnici from Nubreed titled Vermouth. The word on this one is that it may be released exclusively as a digital download very soon. Watch this space for more details.

Over the six months, one producer has continually proven to me that he is the one to watch. It seems to happen around every six months that one producer stands out from the rest. Previously it as been Habersham, then Luke Chable before that probably Steve Porter, and even before that John Creamer & Stephane K were the ones to watch. Nowadays, in my opinion, it's Derek Howell who is consistently releasing tracks that seem just that cut above the rest. His double EP on Bedrock late last year was a definite highlight for me, especially Happy To Be Sad. Along with his excellent double A-Sided breaks release for 3 Beat Breaks and both mixes of Funk It on Fade, Derek has a habit of creating lush soundscapes,