Various Artists - Sci.Fi.Hi.Fi Volume 2: Luciano

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Bubbly and alive. That’s the two words that I would use to describe this delightful mix by the Swiss/Chilean DJ and producer Luciano, who is absolutely on fire at present. A mix that innovates and intrigues, entertains and has moments of hedonistic pleasure.

Scottish label Soma has continued their strong releases with a follow-up to Ewan Pearson’s Sci.Fi.Hi.Fi, which was the series’ conception. Mixed live in one-take, using only vinyl and a Nuo5 Ecler mixer, Luciano has been given free range to bounce his way through twenty-one tracks of minimal, deep electro and tech-house flavors, all with the smoothest of ease.

The compilation starts with two rapid and seamless mixes from D.uni.son’s ‘Orange’ to Cabanne’s ‘Boulinge’, and without further-ado invite John Thomas’s groovy ‘Basilic’ to parade through just three minutes into the mix. There is a certain manner in that Luciano creates this mix which although not ‘perfect’ (ProTooled) as such is, but still a beautifully created piece which is gratifying to listen to: dubby, and controlled, always with swing and never slammed.

The ‘Eje Central’ track by Lineas de Nazca drives us slightly into a darkish electro mood, never losing its fun. This leads into Serafin’s moody, druggy ‘Starship Discotheque’. I enjoyed listening to this track, with its alien drones layered over a gorgeous and addictive bassline which takes you to a fractal like state at 3am on a random dancefloor somewhere in the world – or so it seems.

What I really found enjoyable was that the track selection, although it continuously remained in a distinctive rut, it was eclectic and fresh. There is a moment where you are listening to a production such as Matt John’s ‘The Rising Scope’ which is busy, and just two tracks later you have the fat, lush pumping of Solieb’s ‘Love Song’, filled with psychedelic, computerised voices and cyber funk.

I would absolutely love to hear some of these tunes on a loud system with all of the right frequencies. Somehow, the speakers of the old Toyota struggle to give that vibe. Regardless, tracks like Adam Bayer’s ‘Walking Contradiction (Part 1)’ and ‘Glasshouse’- Huggotron by J.Dahlback are sure to take you back to a night where a familiar sound was heard, irrelevant to the manner in how and where you are listening to them.

This disk has a beautiful ending. The melancholic synth keys of Ricardo Villalobos’ ‘Ichso’ give it that artistic, gloomy, ‘native from some land’ feeling. A ‘one more for the road’ in ‘Glasshouse’ and a ‘remember what this life is all about’ track with ‘Earth Beats’ by Kuniyuki. For anyone who is remotely familiar with Luciano’s past and present art, this is definitely one to appreciate and admire.

In this mix you can hear the slight mis-timing of tracks and smallish errors in the mixing, but like Luciano said “My music is from my hands, from the hands it should come to the records…to the decks, and mistakes make it real”. For those who are not familiar… there is no time like the present. Sci.Fi.Hi.Fi Vol 2 is out through Soma Records on the 17th April.

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