Panoramabar 04 begins with the lolling keyboard tones and gently skipping drums of Jon McMillion, a Seattle-based house producer whose mellow beats couldn't be more appropriate for initiating Nick Höppner's turn at the helm of the Berlin club's mix series. Höppner is known for being half of erstwhile tech house duo My My and also managing the club's Ostgut Ton label. Meanwhile, the productions and DJ sets under his own name betray a tasteful ear for melody. Though he's been known to allow any number of genres into his record bag, Panoramabar 04 is a straight-up house affair, the kind you'd hear at the club once the sun has started to peek through the closed blinds of P Bar on Sunday morning.
Unlike previous entries—namely Prosumer's and Cassy's—which were mixed quickly and almost roughly, Höppner's has the careful pace of something designed not for a club set but for posterity. That's not to take away from its efficacy or its danceability. In fact, the elegant gait of Höppner's DJing blinks steadily in the dark but grows deceptively larger with each passing bar, until we're halfway through and jumpy percussion is saturating every corner of the stereo spectrum. Höppner's selections are techy but soulful, clinking metal that occasionally sparks bursts of colour with the panning chords of Chateau Flight's "Welcome" or the playground whimsy of Dez Williams' "Emotional Blackmail." New tracks sidle up into the mix quietly, meekly pushing aside the old as the brittle chord structures interact and play off each other—Höppner sticks to tracks with a distinct sense of space, low on midrange presence so that these gears interlock ever more intricately.
Indeed, the mixing approaches an inhuman perfection that somehow sidesteps the clinical grid-mapping of minimal, cruising along like a convertible. There are little bumps to keep things from total linearity, like the the soca-esque syncopation in DJ Gregory's "Attend 1" or the cheeky dropouts in the disc's latter quadrant, but for the most part this is a smooth ride that bubbles up to a simmer without quite ever reaching boiling point. That's a quality it shares with Ben Klock's mix in the counterpart Berghain series, because by the end with choice cuts from Dexter and Scott Grooves the groove just feels like it's starting to heat up, set aglow with warm textures and basslines.
As DJ Emanuel's "Untitled" sputters in the penultimate slot, a familiar gravelly drum track comes in, announcing the entrance of one of the year's most ubiquitous and celebrated tracks in Andres' "New 4 U." The distinctive disco strings swoop in and knock Emanuel's track out immediately, a decisive strike that's all the more thrilling for its uncharacteristic rashness. Andres' track is the moment the blinds thrust open and clubbers are bathed in the light of the approaching day, a celebratory encapsulation of one of the most distinctive aspects of one of the world's most distinctive clubs.
Tracklist: Nick Hoppner - Panorama Bar 04 01. Jon McMillion - T-Station
02. Furry Phreaks - Lament For A Dead Computer Part 1
03. Fabrizio Mammarella - Way Out
04. Matthew Styles - Liquid Sky
05. Chateau Flight - Welcome (Full Lenght Meex)
06. DJ Gregory - Attend 1
07. The Mole - Hippy Speedball
08. Quince - Alfa
09. Manoo - Abyss
10. Like This Productions - Fixation
11. Carsten Jost - Divide Et Impera (K.Lakizz Remix)
12. Whirlpool Productions - One, Two
13. Swan - Can You Rock To This?
14. Gary Martin - Pimping People In High Places (Woodward Ave Mix)
15. Dez Williams - Emotional Blackmail
16. Dexter - X7D
17. Americhord - Midnight
18. Scott Grooves - Detroit 808
19. DJ Emanuel - Untitled
20. Andres - New For U