'Sequential' might just polarize the loyal fan base of Hernán Cattáneo. The melancholy prog of his two Master Series comps gained him a rabid following the world over, and rightfully so: his deep bass, tribal drums and haunting samples made many a listener – to gank a Derek Howell title off 'Masters Series Vol. 2' – happy to be sad. And while Cattáneo hasn't quite abandoned his trademark sound, 'Sequential' is a hip-shaker. Whether that's for better or worse will be up to the fans.
Disc One starts surprisingly with Gui Boratto laying down a fat slab of minimal goodness typical of Kompakt on 'Arquipelago'. This segues beautifully into the Oliviero & MOS remix of Petersky's 'Fuck Them All', a nicely twisted track that's not half as mean-spirited as it sounds. Dousk makes a welcome appearance halfway through with the dreamy and floaty 'Florence', which is truly beautiful (despite my lame choice of adjectives). But Paolo Mojo's '1983' is an infuriating inclusion: the Daft Punk-like tinkling synths and the early '90s house piano make for a real throwaway of a track. The worst, however, has to be 'With My Friends' by Randall Jones Presents DJs Set You Free. The beat is nice and eerie but the 'straight-up track after track of HOTNESS' vocal is lame wigger talk that makes the whole thing laugh-out-loud horrible. Luckily, Phonique and Erlend Øye are there to pick up the pieces with the Cattáneo & Tonks remix of 'For The Time Being' – though I vastly preferred Montero's dub off Dave Seaman's 'Masters Series Vol. 7'.
Disc Two reminds me of the second disc of 'Global Underground 014: Hong Kong', as both Digweed and Cattáneo plumb the darker depths of progressive house with the same solid sleaze. Cattáneo kicks off with Bushwacka!'s 'Beastman', a monstrous track that chews up a sample from Leftfield's 'Dusted' over a malevolent bassline. But 'Destiny' by 16 Bit Lolitas is where the second disc really starts to get filthy with heavy doses of pounding rhythm, squelchy bass and scattered claps. The remix of Mehta & Riedel’s stripped-down 'Obsessions' sounds like tribal warfare but the highlight of 'Sequential' has to be The Pushers scorching version of Dan Welton's 'Lisopain', which is 'straight-up HOTNESS' – equally at home at a sultry outdoor rave or at the movies when the hero is chased through the jungle by enraged natives. Cattáneo polishes off the disc with 'Sirocco', his and John Tonks follow-up to the immortal introspective breaks of 'Warsaw'. It's a hard act to follow and they don't quite pull it off but the track is still a nice prog house roller, uplifting and cool without being cheesy or pretentious.
Hernán Cattáneo’s mixing and sequencing are predictably superb but his track selection leaves something to be desired. 'Sequential' suffers from the same problem as Seaman's 'Masters Series': one CD is face-meltingly rad, the other merely so-so. Seaman's disc one was nearly perfect, while Cattáneo's disc two is the half that truly soars. Taken as a whole, the biggest disappointment of 'Sequential' is the track selection: the tracks seesaw between gemstones and coals and it's hard to keep your finger off the skip button.
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