Satoshi Tomiie - Renaissance: The Masters SeriesWith Satoshi Tomiie finding international recognition at the turn of the century for his explorations into the darker side of progressive, it's easy to forget he's been an established member of the New York house fraternity since the late '80s. For the latest installment of the Renaissance Masters Series Tomiie reverts back to a softer sound and reminds us of his New York roots. But inevitably, with the light, come moments of darkness. Tomiie's mix is a balancing act between his house origins and the need to feed a contemporary fan-base with touches of tech and deep house. The result may not be the most innovative of mixes, but it's put together with the professionalism you'd expect.
The first disc hammers home the straight house sound with smooth productions from Shur-i-kan, Toby Tobias and Jimpster. In the final third, the subtle tech house of Jerome Sydenham's mix of H.O.S.H.'s "Steppenwolf," and Layo & Bushwacka's Djembe crank up the energy. Unfortunately Tomiie then drops the pace with some predictable house, but pulls it back for the climax with the outstanding Radio Slave mix of "Dead Souls" by Mlle Caro and Frank Garcia; the vocal of which is bound to put the hook in you.
Tomiie's new production "Madrugada," under the Mes guise, kicks off the second disc. For a Tomiie production it's curiously understated, but pleasant enough. The laidback vibe remains for the first half of the disc before the droning bass of the Blade Runner-inspired "Nexus" by Martin Beume sets up a pounding finale, with Tomoki & Nono's tribal "Lark" and the ominous Sebastian Roya remix of James Kronier's "Bladnoch" ensuring fans of Tomiie's darker edge get their kicks as well.
All in all, it's a solid mix put together by a DJ who expertly blends US and European house together. When the names Renaissance and Satoshi Tomiie come together, a certain standard is expected. That standard is reached, but unfortunately Renaissance Masters fails to distinguish itself much from other mixes in the series. Nevertheless, those looking for two discs of house should find enough quality here to see out the rest of 2008.
Satoshi Tomiie is Japan’s most successful DJ. Since the late 1980s he has been at the forefront of the global house music movement thanks to his seminal dancefloor anthems, pop remixes, headliner DJ sets and constant reinvention. View the full artist profile