Johnny White and Kenny Glasgow's time as Art Department may only be a comparatively short slice of their respective music careers, but it's taken the Canadian producers to a new level of recognition. Maintaining momentum from the string of singles and albums that began in 2010, they take on the next edition of No.19 Music's Social Experiment mix series—their first compilation—with gusto, ending its hiatus since 2011's Soul Clap-helmed debut.
At first glance, the tracklisting doesn't hold too many surprises. There are a clutch of exclusives adding a fresh feel, with White and Nitin's "La Cueva" opening things brightly. Dusted with reverb, its babbling melody flows into Brigante's vibrant mix of Ali Love's "The Jungle," the chattering, tumbling vox offset by a familiar, pitched-down menace. Robert Owens' striking vocals add class in "Tomorrow Can Wait," and excel amid the angry leads and acid bleeps of "Full of Dreams" as the emphasis moves from leisurely to peak-time. In fact, the high and lowlights of the mix are also vocal-led: a nod to the early '00s with Foremost Poets' "Moonraker" and Bryan Ferry's appearance on DJ Hell's "U Can Dance" are an unexpected joy, while Damian Lazarus' appearance on the expansive "Robot Heart" feels incongruous.
Jamie Jones's taut and symmetric "Doctor Blue" carefully reigns in the more muscular middle third of the mix, while a trio of exclusives close things out. First is the 909-infused "Not Progress," from fellow Canadians My Favorite Robot. Gregorythme's "Artificial Tears" follows, its melody caught between pulsating bassline and glistening synths, before ending on Art Department's own "Insomniac." It's a boisterously enjoyable and skilfully compressed journey, and a further evolution in an already promising mix series.
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Tracklist: Art Department - Social Experiment 003 01. Art Department - Into The Dust Intro
02. Jonny White & Nitin - La Cueva
03. Ali Love - The Jungle (Brigante's Mix)
04. Luca C. & Brigante feat Robert Owens - Tomorrow Can Wait (Art Department Remix)
05. Jonathan Lee - Senses
06. Foremost Poets - Moonraker (Accapella)
07. Jackin Rabbit feat. Robert Owens - Full Of Dreams
08. Fuckpony - Bongo Born (Tale Of Us Remix)
09. Jamie Jones - Doctor Blue
10. DJ Hell feat. Brian Ferry - U Can Dance (Carl Craig Remix)
11. Art Department, BLUD, Shaun Reeves feat. Damian Lazarus - Robot Heart
12. My Favorite Robot - Not Progress
13. Gregorythme - Artificial Tears
14. Art Department - Insomniac