Tresor has put out plenty in the decade since then. But even with every other big dance indie rushing to throw parties and put out comps to celebrate any anniversary divisible by five, the Berlin techno powerhouse has elected to downplay its 20th birthday some. Mike Huckaby, who's played the club but never issued anything on the label, provides a 22-cut, hour-long mix: exactly an hour, in fact. It makes a kind of anti-statement—something like, You can have all the giant box sets and multiple versions of the repackaged catalog you want, and that's OK. But in the end, what matters is how it boils down.
Boil 20th Anniversary does. Though Huckaby's set is laid out in an arc—start bustling, rev up to punishing, then cool things out for the final stretch—its edges stay rough. It sounds played live rather than neatly composed, like it's not looking particularly toward posterity even if that's the way it's packaged. Even when Huckaby throws a snatch of the DJ Rush version of "Where's Your Child" near the top to mark his turf, it comes across as something we've just walked into. Rather than the photosynthesis-evolutionary style of other big-marker mixes like DJ DB's History of Our World Part 1 or Deadbeat's Radio Rothko, Huckaby gets a real-time, in-the-moment quality that suits the material.
Of course, the Tresor sound was always so busy and bustling that it may simply camouflage Huckaby's careful planning. Tracks like Cristian Vogel's "Absolute," whose hurtling kick and looping bass live up to the track's title, and Joey Beltram's "Game Form," in which machines jack harder than most Chicago house, both stay in their tight boxes and explode their form at every turn. When Bam Bam's "Give It to Me" arrives about 23 minutes in, all that inner-directed energy is released—"I'm a man, baby," indeed—before Huckaby ramps things up some more. Only in this company could Robert Hood's "Chase" or Surgeon's "Black Jackal Throwbacks," the two finishers, be considered "calm." Who'd want it any other way?