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.