Various Artists - Ultimate Nustyle & Hard House: Mixed by Flipside, Miss Tracy, Ajax & Mr Bishi

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(Central Station/MRA)

How does a four disc box set mixed by some of the scenes hottest talents sound? If you’re like me and you love your harder edged sounds then this is one release you definitely should not pass over. DJ’s Flipside (Sydney), Mr Bishi (New Zealand), Ajax (Melbourne) and Miss Tracey (Brisbane) each showcase the sounds that get their home towns jumping. This second release in the new Ultimate series is full of monster tunes and is a must own for lovers of the harder stuff.

Disc One – Flipside – Best of Sydney

Disc one has been entrusted to a very able Sydneysider. Nic McLean, better known as Flipside, is no stranger to Sydney punters. His enthusiasm over the past four years and unique driving trance sound has resulted in a loyal following and hectic gig schedule. Flipside is a rising star and one of the few DJ’s to have stayed true to his love of the trancier side of things when many of his beatdriven brethren turned to the harder end of the spectrum. Whether playing at intimate venues or rocking the decks alongside internationals at huge festivals, Flipside is guaranteed to get the people dancing.

His disc, “Best of Sydney”, begins on an uplifting note with tracks by the likes of Tiesto, Paul van Dyk and Y.O.M.C. The mix then changes gear into a bit of the harder stuff around the time DJ T.T. Hacky’s I want You appears. It’s always great to see some Aussie flavour being represented and in this case the Blutonium sounding John Ferris’ Legalise and the nightmarish closing tune, Flipside vs Mick Ferris’ Devastation, are more than up to the task.

The A*S*Y*S tune No More Rock n Roll is a refreshing Voodoo People tribute and the Overdose anthem It’s Like That tells it the way it is. Flipside’s disc has a great progression from happier to harder sounds which is an accurate reflection of his typical Sydney style. An impressive mix from an impressive DJ.

Disc Two – Mr Bishi – Best of New Zealand

Hailing from Bournemouth and Wellington respectively, Jon Langford and Steve Hill make up the infamous Mr Bishi. With a swag of their own productions and remixes Mr Bishi are a well respected team in the hard house community. This dynamic duo take the reigns from Flipside in order to represent the “Best of New Zealand.”

The Bishi disc starts off with great promise after its moody intro, with a few hard trance tracks like Whiplash and Hands Up leading nicely into hard house territory.  As you’d expect, there are some bouncy hard house numbers like Access and Wanna Ride and some darker stuff such as Touch Me. Quite a few of Langford and Hill’s own bits are included on here including the Volts Wagon No Sleep tribute to Insomnia and the Mr Bishi tunes Toy Boy and The Pills.

Reworked and remixed versions of Steve Morley’s timeless Reincarnations, Tony De Vit’s seminal The Dawn and the Binary Finary homage of K Series’ K2 – Binary Finary all bring with them those familiar rushes of nights gone by. Though there are 20 tunes crammed into this mix you never get a sense of it feeling too chaotic. There is one negative however. I don’t mind a bit of the old vox, but the cheese-factor vocals in many of the tracks kills this disc a bit for me. If you can ignore (or skip) the annoying vocal tracks this mix really shines.

Disc Three – Ajax - Best of Melbourne

Moving along to disc three, the “Nu-Style Dance Floor Bombs!” Not to be confused with Sydney’s electroclash spinner, Melbournite Ajax is co-owner and resident of Melbourne’s Hard Kandy nightclub and an integral part of the Melbourne hard house and nrg scene. Ajax had his musical beginnings thrashing out punk music in various highschool bands. Exposure to the likes of New Order and Depeche Mode turned this axe wielding agitator into a techno spinning terrorist and nowadays he can be found slamming out hardedged tunes to the bangin’ beat nutters in Melbourne or in the studio with producer in crime, Krash.

With an opening track from the VB Technology outfit you know this is going to be a tasty hour and a bit. I’m a big fan of DJ Dean releases so I was happy to hear the euro sound of Protect Your Ears appear early in the mix. Equally impressive is Kadoc’s snappy The Nightrain 2004, the ever haunting mindtrip of The Realm from Cinderella and the Spoke club-classic You’re Ready For Me.

Add to this Ajax’s tight mixing and tracks like the Hose’s sample-tastic Loudness, the bombtrack Expansion and the DJ Stardust remix of Mega What and you have a smoking mix that perfectly captures Ajax’s upfront style. If you enjoy the nu-style sound you’re going to love this. My only complaint against this mix is that it is too short!

Disc Four – Miss Tracey – Best of Brisbane

At the tender of age of fifteen, Tracey Brennan alias Miss Tracey, realised she wanted to be a disc jockey. Though she started out as a young lass playing Acca Dacca and Barnesy to under agers in a quiet little Queensland town, she soon realised that the real action was in the big smoke and moved to Brisbane in 1990. She landed her first gig at a System 6 party in 1996 and finally realised her dream. Nowadays she is one of the country’s top female DJ’s and is a hard dance producer extraordinaire. Between looking after her puppy Louis, playing at parties across Brisbane and producing with Nil, she is one very busy lady. Luckily Miss Tracey managed to find some time to mix up a storming set of nrg for the fourth and last disc in this set, the “Best of Brisbane.”

Strap yourself in for 75 minutes of relentless hard hitting music cause right from the first bar, this disc cranks! The Nil vs Miss Tracy track, King of House, opens up and lets it rip!  Can You Feel It and Hole In The Speaker keep the sweat pouring until Steve Hill’s Wicked 2003 fronts up. Wicked is one of the cheekiest and grooviest tracks doing the rounds at the moment and for very good reason. The Miss Tracey favourite, Age of Space’s 9 Is A Classic, makes a very welcome appearance in a Paul Glazby remix . 

Two of Tony De Vit’s best also star in the form of Give Me A Reason and the final tune, Are You All Ready? Another Nil and Miss Tracy collaborative track, Punished, is a typical morning song, brain dead body still moving stuff. Hard house hoovers and beat laden nrg are the flavour of the day across Tracey’s mix and in my opinion it’s the most consistent of the lot. You’ll find yourself utilising your repeat button with this disc.

So there you have it, four sexy slip-discs of slamming hard tunes from four of the best in the game. An absolute must own of timeless tracks mixed to perfection. Do yourself a favour and experience the Ultimate!

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