"My motivation is and has been a mixture of fun and communication," reads Tama Sumo's self-penned biography. For all the discussions regarding their stringent door staff and austere music policy, it's easy to forget that spending a Sunday afternoon at Berlin's Panorama Bar can be seriously entertaining. And while you could hardly describe resident DJ Sumo's Panorama Bar 02 release as jovial, it's tough to suppress a grin when envisaging the effect a mix such as this would have on its oscillating dance floor during one of those heady Sabbath sessions.
Sumo's disc follows on from fellow resident Cassy's 2006 instalment, and by and large, the similarities end there. Whereas Cassy skulked in the dead of night, Sumo waits it out until the following morning; adjusting the blinds, allowing passages of light and shade. A further disparity reveals itself on the question of geography: A local cabal of Berlin producers formed the backbone of Cassy's mix, while Sumo throws open the borders to all comers—hardly a conscious decision on either DJ's part, but an interesting footnote on house's more recent globalisation trend, nonetheless.
As a general rule of thumb, DJs playing Panorama Bar are afforded a four-hour time slot. The venue's residents therefore are among the most adept at the vitally important aspect of pacing a set. Thankfully Sumo's knack for a narrative does not desert her when faced with an 80-minute canvas: She overcomes the compressed time frame by carefully cultivating a mood and operating within its confines. That's not say that variety isn't on offer, however: Strands of techno, dub and disco all flesh out the core house music skeleton.
The mix's early portion finds Sumo toying with hazy legato numbers, as typified by Jenifa Mayanja's pensive re-rub of Nina Kraviz's "Voices." Once the final brick in the foundation—the flabby low-end of Lerosa's "Plesso" —is laid, construction begins in earnest via the playful shuffle of Prosumer and Murat Tepeli's "U & I." And it's at this point that things begin to get truly absorbing. A neat, chord-driven run from John Roberts and Trus'me puts a spring in the step, which leads you willingly to meet Shed's hitherto unreleased "Stiff Job," and Redshape's Chicago-specked version of Newworldaquarium's "Trespassers."
Mixes are of course all about the places they take you, and it's around this mid-section that Sumo packs up her things and heads to America. Although there are exceptions to the rule, classic-rooted pressure from Mike Huckaby, Levon Vincent and Basic Soul Unit dictates the tone as they duck between European cuts from XDB and Lucretio. Keen to expose her range as the mix draws to a close, Sumo digs out a classic (Marcus Mixx's "Without Makeup"); an oddball (Ost & Kjex's "Continental Lover"); some work of her own ("Alien Mutts" alongside Prosumer); and a sparkling unreleased gem (Soundstream's "All Night"). It's a beguiling move, and one that leaves you with a sweetened taste when you've just been scoffing savoury.
If you've danced to deeper strains of house music during 2009, Panorama Bar 02 should emphatically enforce the reasons you did so. A company of this year's key proponents are present and proffered by an accomplished 12-year veteran and one of the world's foremost venues. Equally, if you're one of the hundreds, if not thousands, who embrace the necessary evil of the club's door policy, queuing on those bone-chillingly cold mornings across that hopeful dirt path, this mix should remind you of why you bothered: there's fun to be had at the top of those stairs.
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Tracklist: Tama Sumo - Panorama Bar 02 01. Tin Man – Constant Confusion
02. John Daly – Birds
03. Nina Kraviz – Voices (Jenifa Mayanja Remix)
04. Steffi – 24 Hours
05. Lerosa – Plesso
06. Prosumer & Murat Tepeli – U & I
07. John Roberts – Blame
08. Trus’Me – W.A.R. Dub
09. Kassem Mosse - Zolarem
10. Shed – Stiff Job
11. Newworldaquarium – Trespassers (Redshape Trespassed Mix)
12. Mike Huckaby – Wavetable No.9
13. XDB – Jet
14. Levon Vincent – Late Night Jam
15. Lucretio – Good Words
16. The Oliverwho Factory – Together
17. Basic Soul Unit – Things Pass
18. Marcus Mixx – Without Makeup (Ron Hardy Mix)
19. Ost & Kjex – Continental Lover
20. Tama Sumo & Prosumer – Alien Mutts
21. Soundstream – All Night
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