Various - Balance 022: Funk D'Void
Fri 12th Oct, 2012 Music Reviewsin
The Balance series is one that needs no introduction. It continues to build on a solid reputation of strong releases, and quite comfortably holds its own as one of the elite CD compilation series across the world. Coming off the back of the much acclaimed releases from Nic Fanciulli and Deetron, and with a back-catalogue including some epic releases from Jooris Voorn and James Holden, the keys this time were handed to Lars Sandberg – or as we better know him, Funk D’Void. As someone whose passion for the music is irrefutable, the Scot has spent the good part of the last two decades dictating and dominating dance floors around the world – and doing it well. Giving him a Balance was, needless to say, always going to be a fun ride.
Launching into his own rework of the bouncy (and aptly named) Introduction – and through to Olmec My Brother from Los Hermanos and Razor from Chris Malinchak – D’Void arrives with a bucket-load full of party tunes. Groovy, progressive sounds over some deep and funky basslines make for a strong start. We hit Lucky Punch from Peter Dildo and he takes it all back a notch, the bass lines get even deeper, and he moves us in different direction, with some minimal and tech-house from Arkist and Tonka respectively.
If this were a club set, the ebb of the dancefloor would have just shifted. From hands in the air, you’ve now gone to waist-height clenched fist pumps. Think about it. Well, it’s irrelevant, because for D’Void, it would seem that this isn’t meant for the club. D’Void commented before the release that he’d taken inspiration for this Balance from the Back To Mine series. “A particular memory was imprinted on me from a long car journey back from the beach with friends when we listened to one of the releases without speaking for two hours, completely lost in the whole magic of the day together,” he said.
With that in mind, we take another turn, as the darker glitchier sounds soon make way for the almost 90’s disco-infused progressive John Tejada edit of Return of Annuaki from Soy Mustafa and then the melodic sounds of Lost Forever In A Happy Crowd by Exercise One and Mathew Johnson, before balls out techno in the form of Confuted from Guy Andrews. Seriously good tunes, the lot of them, and despite crossing genres, D’Void pieces them together almost organically.
We continue through more upbeat party tunes from Delano Smith and Sam Matters and into the the Steve Rachmad edit of Chymera’s The Chase – for me one of the tracks of the release. The original of this tune is a brilliant melody-infused ballad, with almost aching vocals scattered throughout. Here, Rachmad has given it some serious grunt, kept the emotion well and truly in tact, and D’Void’s inspired inclusion of it kicks off what is ultimately an overwhelmingly belting back third of the first CD.
Through Nhyus Part Two from Swede techno giant Jesper Dahlback and the bouncy tech-house sounds of Only With Your Eyes from Pezzner, D’Void nails it. He punches us through to the Andrew Lodemann remix of the Spirit Catcher tune Sedona with more than a hint of disco for good measure. And if the first disc couldn’t get better, he ends it all with an (unreleased) edit by Psycatron of his very own massive tune, Diabla. An exquisite end to an equally exquisite first disc.
The second disc starts off very differently, a much more low-key affair, and gone is the party entrance, the frenetic but fun-filled progression of the first. Replacing it are the almost calming, soothing sounds of Waiting For by Kolombo and Delve from Lee Webster. There’s a more euphoric feel wrapped around the second disc, and it acts as the perfect foil to the first.
Tunes from Space Dimension Controller and Martin Patino make for seriously easy listening, and you can’t help but think that if you were in fact ‘back at home’ with your mates, this is the disc that you’d be playing as the sun rises. Toby Tobias’ remix of Dark Journey from Outmode is a beauty, before we seemingly glide into D’Void remix of Assassin by Joash: a melodic number laced with a break-beat making for a tune that is equal parts clever and equal parts wicked.
Speaking of all things clever, we’ve then got Joris Voorn and his Re-2001 which starts as a mellow affair, before breaking out into a fast-paced glitchy techy dub number. Spontaneity is front and centre throughout this Balance, and D’Void is more than happy to keep us guessing.
Best of all, it’s an immense amount of fun, all the way through with house-laden tunes Go Through Me from Tom Ellis and Can U Sing from DJ Profile, to the melody-infused atmospheric Alles Mainstream by Rhythm Maker and the glitchy and at times dark Rob Acid version of the Robert Babicz tune, Out of Order, the second disc shapes up just as well as the first. Then we’re into the disco sounds of Makin Love from Soundstream: the lights are flashing and it’s the 90s all over again. And it’s frickin’ awesome. Headroom by Blackman keeps it going, before Prism from Phil Kieran gets all deep on us again, and 1999 from Reboot Joy Confession drops in with a syncopating snare that is more than just a little Daft Punk but almost just as good.
D’Void wraps it all up with smooth and driving Sweet Spot under his Francois Dubois moniker and the chilled and funky You Say from Dennis Desantis – a fitting end to a second disc, that for very different reasons, is just as good as the first.
Over two discs, 44 tracks, and no less than 150 minutes worth of music, Funk D’Void has given us a polished offering, one that like a good wine, I predict will only get better with time. In a Balance compilation that he can truly be proud of, it is one that can sit comfortably with the rest. Very comfortably. Funk D’Void said that he wanted to make a contribution to a ‘revered physical CD series’ that would ‘transcend the constraints of some of the fickle, fashionable sounds of today’s electronic music scene’. He’s definitely done that. This is one to savour.
Balance 022: Funk D’Void is out now through Balance Music. Distributed through EMI.