Ricardo Villalobos' fabric 36 blurred the boundaries between DJ mix and artist album. Three short years later and the idea doesn't seem all that novel: The concept of dOP's Watergate mix hasn't caused the same debate, despite the substantial parallels. With all but one of the tracks written or remixed by dOP on Watergate 06, what you have is something that feels more like the long-playing debut of the Parisian trio rather than a mix CD.
The fact that it is all dOP lends an unsurprising homogeneity to the flow and the palette of sounds. For those unfamiliar with the group's approach to house, stabs of horns and live instrumentation alongside Jonathan Ille's soulful vocals are the modus operandi. Their collaboration with Nôze being the most extreme—and at times the most cheesy—example to be found here. Kicking off the set with a snippet of the group recorded live at Watergate is also a novel touch to emphasise these particular organic qualities.
But what really stands out on Watergate 06 is a certain contemplative intensity. Most tracks have long spacious plateaus where repetition becomes a disorientating inculcation and the frequent emptiness is often exhilarating and claustrophobic. dOP like to lose themselves in patterns, gradually edging out changes such that the progression takes on an almost ritualistic quality, particularly when they fixate on Ille's voice.
Arguably the disadvantage of such a unified feel is the danger of monotony. dOP cleverly sidestep this by employing both remixes and collaborations which do enough to change the perspective of the sound without really introducing any furious peaks and troughs. Their collaboration with Seuil, for example, adds a bustling swagger to "New York" that speeds up the centre of mix.
Whereas the other Watergate mixes often felt like a snapshot of a club over an extended period of time, this seems like a zoomed-in portrait of the club and how it might be on one particular night. As for dOP, Watergate 06 captures their serious side and is a good measure of their diverse musical abilities, but perhaps sensibly holds back from the chaotic madness that sets their live shows on fire.
Buy dOP - Watergate 06 at
Tracklist: dOP - Watergate 06 01. Enliven dOP Acoustic – The Dust (Recorded Live at Watergate)
02. dOP & Nôze – Les Fils du Calvaire
03. Aquarius Heaven & dOP – Before You Go
04. Daniele Papini & dOP – Carte Blanche
05. dOP & Seuil – New York
06. dOP – Stock Option (Tiefschwarz Remix)
07. Mathias Kaden & dOP – The Ceremony
08. Seuil & dOP – Glory Hole
09. Catz & Dogz & dOP – Deaf Wagrant (Selianka Edit)
10. Wareika & dOP – Play Play Play
11. Art of Tones feat. Jaw – Call The Shots (Motor City Drum Ensemble Remix)
12. Khan – Candy Girl (dOP Remix)
13. dOP - Goodbye