Tensnake's meteoric rise after a few years among Teutonic house music's fringes is attributable to one single moment: The gloriously melodic and ridiculously tuneful "Coma Cat." The year began in January with its release on the Permanent Vacation, and its renown has kept growing throughout to a point where it's now ubiquitous. But somehow not overplayed. It's this unique quality that makes it seem like Marco Niemerski has his tasteful finger on the proverbial pulse—something that is also apparent on his first commercially available mix CD.
Niemerski's choice of Defected as the label outlet might appear to some like a counterintuitive one. Judging by the results, though, it simply shows how comfortably he can navigate the integrity spectrum. If we follow CD 1's selection, for instance, it's clear he's well in touch with his nü-disco contemporaries, Mugwump's "Boutade" being a perfect mood-setting opener. Influences can range from the truly vintage (the Kenny Glasgow and Jonny White remix of Zev's "Don't Break It") or fully derivative (Tensnake's own "Need Your Lovin''' comes across as a lost Taylor Dayne B-side), but it always feels appropriate and inspired.
There is a slight pause in the flow right after Carol Williams's soulful "Can't Get Away (From Your Love)," and then the mix enters its proper nü-disco phase with the sub-genre's current virtuosos: remixes from the always reliable Prins Thomas, Tuff City Kids and Hot Toddy and the scene's vocal muse, Kathy Diamond, shows up on Kaine's preposterous but strangely uplifting "Love Saves the Day."
The first disc finally ends on the brilliant stylistic match between Michael Mayer's lost yet visionary "Amanda" (from the almost decade old Total 2 compilation) and the twirling Lindstrøm & Pris Thomas remix of The Chemical Brothers' "Swoon." This is crate digging and connection-drawing DJing at its most compelling.
The second disc is more upbeat, presenting Niemerski's deep knowledge of the current and vintage house canon. Highlights are aplenty, but the remarkably rousing Still Going remix of Coyote's "Moving," the pounding "Keep It Simple" by Louie Guzman and the thunderously bass-heavy Motor City Drum Ensemble re-reading of DJ Sprinkles' "Grand Central Pt. 1" are remarkably uplifting. Thomos' Edit of Armando's 1988 understated classic "Don't Take It," is house music at its most basic and operative (its presence here only somewhat diminished by the fact it has also already been used by the likes of Roman Flügel, Paul Woolford and Juan Maclean on their own mixes earlier this year). Technically speaking, some transitions on both discs are a bit rough around the edges at times, and the slight reediting of the "Coma Cat" intro is completely unnecessary, but these are minor blemishes on an overall spot-on selection.
Tensnake is currently walking a fine line between popular recognition and underground trustworthiness, but In the House shows him doing so without compromising his insight or his artistry. While he is currently being playlisted by Radio 1 and pushed by Defected in the UK, he also appears on the latest Permanent Vacation and Bugged Out compilations, making the apparently irreconcilable seem totally natural.
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Tracklist: Tensnake - In the HouseCD 1
01. Mugwump - Boutade
02. Zev - Don't Break It (Kenny Glasgow & Jonny White Remix)
03. Tiger & Woods - Dr. Burner
04. Tensnake - Need Your Lovin (Dub Mix)
05. Carol Williams - Can't Get Away (From Your Love)
06. Al Usher - Lullaby For Robert (Prins Thomas Diskomiks)
07. Boom Clap Bachelors - L-O-V-E (Tuff City Kids Remix)
08. Lovebirds - Want You In My Soul (Hot Toddy Dub)
09. Shirley Lites - Heat You Up (Melt You Down) (Instrumental)
10. Kaine feat. Kathy Diamond - Love Saves The Day
11. Michael Mayer - Amanda
12. The Chemical Brothers - Swoon (Lindstrøm & Prins Thomas Remix Edit)
01. Mount Kimbie - Carbonated / Osunlade featuring Divine Essence - My Reflection (Accapella)
02. Âme - Fiori (Dixon Beat Edit)
The Wizard Brian Coxx - My Dream (Accapella)
03. Louie Balo feat. Spanky - Don't Shut Me Out
04. Coyote - Moving (Still Going Remix)
05. Mano Le Tough - Baby, Let’s Love (Iron Curtis Rmx)
06. Louie "Balo" Guzman - Keep It Simple
07. Butch - No Worries
08. Tom Demac - Crewcuts & Curls (Jamies Jones' Watercooler Remix)
09. Heaven and Earth - Prescription Every Night
10. Sneak Essentials - In Da Clouds (Da Original Dub)
11. Tensnake - Coma Cat
12. DJ Sprinkles - Grand Central Part 1 (MCDE Bassline Dub)
13. Basic Soul Unit - Things Pass (Original Mix)
14. Armando - Don't Take It (Thomos Edit)
15. Phase II - Reachin (Original Brotherhood Mix)
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