Nic Fanciulli - Balance 21When Saved Records boss Nic Fanciulli approached making a mix for the Balance series, his watchword was "timeless." The first of the two CDs here leans mostly on tracks from the last year or so, varying in style, but threaded together seamlessly enough so that each of the 27 tracks seem to complement each other almost perfectly. Opening with what would be classed as a traditional intro—the atmospheric "Raindrops" by Luca & Bruno—Fanciulli gently coaxes the listener in before picking up the pace, working his way from the louche "Goma" by Iron Curtis into more dance floor-orientated deep house with Franck Roger and Mandel Turner's anthemic "After All." From there on in he threads together a batch of music that seems to pertain to his "timeless" intentions, Ricardo Villabos and Jay Haze's inimitable "Fenlow" finds bedfellows in Quell's garage-tinged "Joy" and Igor Vicente and Vernon Bara's Visionquest release "Don't Feel No Way."
Fanciulli's wealth of experience shines through throughout the mix, displaying a slick approach to mixing and confident transitions between styles. But what underpins it all is the simplicity of his composition: he doesn't try too hard to overdo things, with the mix flowing organically and reaching a natural conclusion with modern anthem "Here's Your Trance Now Dance" by Omar-S.
CD two is a showcase for Fanciulli's label, Saved. A further 26 tracks feature, with nine remixes recorded especially for the mix. In keeping with the label's ethos, there's representation from both the older heads (Stacey Pullen, Rolando, etc.) and younger talents like Robert James, Clio and Samu.l. The latter makes his presence felt with "Forgiven," which cheekily "borrows" the riff from MK's 1993 classic remix of "Can You Forgive Her" by the Pet Shop Boys. From the more populist house productions at the beginning of the CD there's a logical progression through to more uncompromising rolling techno, like Fanciulli's own remix of "Definition" by Loco Dice. It's a distinct switch up, but it in no way feels awkward as the unrelenting beats creep in and start to pound. Fanciulli's skill has always been in his ability to weave between these things effortlessly, with keen attention paid to transitions. He brings this to bear on Balance 021 in triumphant fashion.