A blend of the old sounding (the retro-lektro of "Disco Theme" and "Taking Your Own Advice," two DMX Krew pop curiosities), the recent, the quite new and the exclusive, Selected Label Works Volume 3 reminds just how Permanent Vacation have come to perfectly embody a certain brand of chill, Eurocentric dance music that is at the nexus of numerous trends from Scandinavian space disco and Italo to early '90s house revivalism and classic synth pop.
One of their best releases is even allowed to show up twice on this compilation. The sultry "Moments of Excellence," from German duo Black Van, remains a skilled, satiny piece of electronic house, while the Holy Ghost-sung, Aeroplane-remixed version blends a catchy pop chorus with Vito Aeroplane's newfound sense of abstract investigations (at least compared to the more hands-in-the-air, guilt-free remixes he has accustomed us to over the past years: see his recent illicit, rousing take on Georges Michael's "Faith" for further proof). James Curd's "Open Up Your Mind" is as immediate, albeit more direct and muscular: it's as close to EBM the label will probably ever get.
There's also the sardonic yet beatific cover version of Ace of Base's reggae-pop "All That She Wants" hit by a certain Chuck Norris (i.e. one of Todd Terje's numerous aliases) and the more straightforward, light-toned techno remix of Midnight Magic's "Drop Me a Line" by Steffi, both proving how Permanent Vacation can go from the totally silly to the absolutely Ostgut Ton-like serious without ever compromising its core identity.
The label's most intriguing, beguiling and promising recruits, at least according to this edition of Selected Label Work, are Spanish producer Pional and German oddball Bostro Pesopeo. The former's "Into a Trap" and "Where Eagles Dare," both included here, exhibit an innate sense for oblique yet heart-wrenching melodies, while the latter (who shows up a total of four times overall) offers a lean remix of Sally Shapiro's "Love in July" or his own "Basic Vox," a piece of blissful electronica featuring the toned down and strangely soulful Hard Ton. If this is house, then nobody should ever want their money back.