Various Artists - We Love… Ibiza, Mixed by Riton & Serge Santiago

Image For Various Artists - We Love… Ibiza, Mixed by Riton & Serge Santiago

Another year and another season in Ibiza; that great white isle of debaucharous degradation of the most fashionable kind, that seems to churn out as many club compilations as lobster tanned brats come end of September. And so we are faced with this retrospective from THE club that defined Sunday clubbing in Ibiza, We Love @ Space. Since it’s inception in the late nineties, We Love has shifted perception of Ibiza as purely a Balearic haven and created a more international balance between that mythical ethos and the English super club concept. The last significant mix based on the clubs wild reputation was Sasha’s legendary Global Underground mix, a high watermark for late nineties liquid house and progressive trance. Almost ten years on and judging by the impassioned text on the inner sleeve of this album, the crew at We Love are trying to recreate that timeless mysticism with a dual mix from two of the scenes current selectors du jour, Serge Santiago and Riton. There are a few problems with Broadbent and co’s honorable intent; first the musical climate is so transient and fast moving it is almost impossible to embed a mix CD into dance music culture anymore and the second is that everyone seems to have caught up with this once trail blazing club concept, Monday became the new Sunday and now Tuesday is the Monday blah blah.

Having said all that it is quite a fine mix album; Serge Santiago weaving his trippy disco into classic Chicago house and vintage techno on one disc, while rave boy Riton unleashes a barrage whoops and whistles on the second. It has way more longevity than a minimal mix or a Kitsune compilation, but to reach so far is not only implausible, it builds expectation and the mix just misses the mark. Santiago kicks in Daft Punk’s Technologic briefly to start his mix; all twisted cheers and crowded effects but the mix doesn’t really get cracking until Frankie Knuckles woozy Baby Wants to Ride dissolves out of Woody’s mind melting Autotune; a decade of dance music meshed blissfully together over seven plus minutes. The squeaky shuffle of Marc Antona’s Save Me grins from the darker corners of La Terraza and Santiago wisely whips in a Morgan Geist bracket via two stonking remixes; Tiga’s Good As Gold is transformed into a vintage Twilo strobe monster and his clicked up house rework of Kelly Polar gets rapid eye movement in abundance.

The classic chords of British house stalwart Kenny Hawke’s drive the back end of the set and the fever accumulates with maestro Carl Craig’s goose bump riddled motor city interpretation of Xpress 2 but why oh why do people persist with Smith and Hacks cheesy trumpet remix of Herbert’s Moving Like A Train, in my opinion it is a total set killer. It almost ruined Dixon’s Body Language and it nearly curses Santiago’s excellent disc.

Riton starts uncompromisingly minimal on his disc, but scores early on with Dominic Eulberg’s gem of a remix for Cosmic Sandwich reminding us why the German is held in such high esteem. He moves quickly to familiar territory with Peaches & Gonzalez hilarious electro hip hop jam Hot Pink Hot Sex and then unleashes old school clunky acid with a range of great forgottens like 2 In A Room’s siren house cut Somebody In The House Say Yeah and Armondo’s 100% Dissin You. It’s a crafty, clever detour that works well for Riton until, that’s right; the Smith n Hack mix of Herbert appears AGAIN. There is redemption in the form CLS’s swinging dub house classic Can You Feel It and the Italo piano vibes of Remember Love by Noze but the mix doesn’t fully recover.

Overall though, for a solid double mix album of current gems and classic house music this is a worthy buy. Unfortunately, for now, I can’t see it earning the ‘classic’ status it so ambitiously sets itself out to be but that shouldn’t detract from excellent work by Santiago and Riton. Hey maybe I’m wrong, and only time will tell if it is one for the ages, but people please enough with the Smith and Hack mix already.

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