Disco has come a long way in the last forty years, and never could that be more obvious than when listening to Force of Nature. The Japanese duo of KZA and DJ Kent has honed their own grown-up, slow-release style to perfection over the last decade. Both as DJs and producers, they favour a steady and studied incline, as is very much the case on their tantric new mix CD, Expansions, for Mule sub-label Endless Flight.
The charm here is in the chase: right from the off there's an inherent sense of climax that never really comes (in a good way). The records are seamlessly blended and sequenced throughout, with each one building on what went before—for instance, the way the beachy guitar trills of Begin's "Lay Dub" make way for gummy beats and more prominent strums of "Field Of Dream (Lexx remix)." A passage of records doused in bright colours and ringing harmonics from the likes of Lone and The Fog seem to have you craning upwards, as if you're at the centre of a radiant glow about to be beamed up into the cosmos. During the Italo dazzles of "Rimini '80" by Boys From Patagonia, you're so high you wonder where things can go in the second half. But the pair respond knowingly, stripping things back to a chugging kick drum and more sombre mood just when they needed to.
And then they re-build once again, first with funk bass, then the high rise and fall of a heavy kick, and onto the thickly plucked riff of "Birdshell," which sounds as good dubbed by The Revenge as it did in original form on Andrew Weatherall's recent Masterpiece. At this point, KZA and Trent have piloted quite the trip,and as such, lovingly coax you down through grooves like "Burnin Tears" and Toby Tobias's humid remix of "Mania Theme." Smart and sophisticated, this mix is a more lasting experience than a flash-pan pleasure.
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Tracklist: Force of Nature - Expansions 01. Begin - Lay Dub
02. The Project Club - Field Of Dream (Lexx remix)
03. Joakim - Labyrinth (Lone remix)
04. Seahawks - Catch A Star Dunks No Drunk (Bolero mix)
05. Lovelock - The Fog
06. Brioski - Scandal Echo
07. Boys From Patagonia - Rimini '80
08. Last Waltz - Tangiers
09. Eddie C - Tunnel Mountain
10. 6th Borough Project - Estranged Lover
11. Craig Bratley - Birdshell (The Revenge Bonus Dub)
12. Compuphonic feat Marques Toliver (Sunset DJ T remix)
13. Burnin Tears - Just The Same
14. Hardway Brothers - Mania Theme (Toby Tobias remix)
15. Andy Sangria - Sanctuary of Love