But what began as ostensibly a more classical house and disco affair has lengthened its sonic arc dramatically in the intervening years, drawing in hairy prog-rock, soundtrack and library music, Balearic and blue-eyed Italo like that of label chanteuse Shapiro. With blog spotlight cuts and floor dynamos like the fizzy piano romp of Tensnake's "Coma Cat," the sunny Mediterranean haze of John Talabot's "Matilda's Dream" and especially Azari and III's infectious '90s radio house throwback "Reckless (With Your Love)," the last year or so has brought the label even more attention. Thankfully, for the neat and tidy amongst us, Permanent's summarizing that period by issuing the second edition of Selected Label Works, a series quickly summiting the annual label comp pile.
At two discs and 22 total tracks, Selected Label Works 2 is, just as with the first, admittedly a lot to take in. Frankly, it's probably a must-own for the home listening set just for collecting the tracks mentioned above. But these are tough times. For those of you looking for a little more encouragement, it's safe to say the comp's loaded with hirsute little escapes and dance floor delusions. Woolfy vs. Projections "Neeve (Time and Space Machine Mix)" is strutty, wide-eyed Balearic disco of questionable vintage, while Jacques Renault's excellent remix of Midnight Magic's "Beam Me Up—that mounting Paradise Garage bassline, that Chicago piano assault and, most importantly, that sultry vocal vamping—seems potent and persuasive enough to argue as a classic in the make. Moonoton's "I Need You Tonight," with guest vocals from Olga Ponomaryova, is sadder and more lonesome, a bit of slow-pitched first morning pop more appropriate for rainy nights indoors than dance floor hedonism.
As with last year's edition, the boys behind Permanent—Tom Bioly and Benjamin Fröhlich—aren't content just manning the comp's assembly. Most notably, they turn in a compelling original—the pummeling, string-laced funk of "Zucker Hut," which churns into a stormy blast of horns—and a remix of Pollyester's "German Love Letter" drenched in echo and heavy hand-drumming. Pollyester's "The Indian" also gets the remix treatment from Brits Mock & Toof, who imbue the cut's bouncy house with a midnight-forest vibe that's partly spiritual and partly just kind of spooky. As such, it's sort of the ideal representative for a label as simultaneously zany, peculiar and persistently engaging as Permanent Vacation. Theirs is a brainy kind of delirium, as focused on floor release as on those 3 AM detours on routes one recognizes only in daylight.