Disc one begins with the stuttered and effected vocals of Zabiela’s Intro as the smooth sweeping strings of JZ’s edit of Edward Shearmur’s “Taxi Ride” soon hypnotise the airwaves. He then incorporates some broken beats early into the mix, overridden with wiggling electro sounds and tickling melodies, that being the brilliant Nightdrive Mix of “My World” by Sunday Brunch. The bouncy electro baselines and stuttering beats of JZ’s edits of Earth Dueley’s “Spacial Gathering” liven up the mix early as do the subtle vocal stylings of the very funky “Your World” by Natural Rhythm, a track with extremely seductive drum patterns. The funky baseline and boisterous hats are ever apparent in “Out in the Shed” by Q6 while the frog croaking inspired baseline in Lanoiraude’s “J.J. Scenario” keeps the dynamic flow of the mix in the early stages. The big stampeding drums, screeching scratches, evil reverberations and general mayhem of “Come On” by Animated lifts the rhythm another notch, a point further emphasized by the clash of the intense baselines of Spincycle’s remix of “Synchronicity” by O.C.B and the eclectic vocals of “Anywhere” by Beth Orton. The mix takes a turn for the twisted when the eerie sounds and wobbly baselines of Bushwacka’s mix of Echomen’s “Thru 2 You” filter the sound waves. “Fact Da Floor” by Mafia Soundsystem smoothens the pace of the mix while the smooth drums and expanding hums of “…he’s in the bar” by Timmy S prepare to bring the mix on for a smooth landing. The stunning Paul Rogers Dub of ODD “Don’t Look at Me” makes use of beautiful piano melodies while the familiar echoes from snippets of “Stage One” by Space Manoeuvres are cut up and affected brilliantly by JZ and appear in perfect spaces in the mix into the final production. “Tay Do 22” by Bermuda Triangle is that final track that conspires to conclude the mix in perfect fashion with its gorgeous melodies, magnetic vocal wails, and subtle yet driving baseline underneath all the beauty. Disc one is over and its time for a change of underwear. It was that good.
The chaos of JZ’s intro begins the second disc and soon enough the mix begins in brilliant style with the cute tunes and scattered beats of “Gone” by Simon & Levin. We soon go into 4/4 territory with the subtle grooves and deep sounds of “Slang for Funky” by the very talented Dave Robertson. The Silence then produce an absolute mind warp with the very delicious “Acid Attack”. Think Acid rumbles, sweeping riffs, electro melodies and erratic but infectious drum patterns, and you are still a long way off in imagining how good this piece of music is. Halo Varga’s “Future” meets PJ Davy’s “Call It What You Want” to create a perfect unity in sound while Dave Robertson makes his second impact in this mix, this time with his take no prisoner approach baseline in his remix of PJ Davy’s “Freezing Point”. I will try my very best to compose a description of the remarkable “Acapulco” by Aphasia but I can only gather that words cannot capture the brilliant essence of this production. If I was to say that heavenly drums met a blissful sequence of melodies and a deep rumbling baseline that held it up from beneath, then I would still not come close to recreating the pleasure it brings. From the sheer beautiful to the damn right evil, the satanic symbol being the vicious and somehow legal baseline of Zabiela’s very own rework of “Drink Deep” by Dave Brennan. Perhaps the delicate drums and delightful strings keep it close to human morality as possible. “Break Your Face” by Bushwacka enables JZ to ply his scratching talents over the top of the production while the funk returns to the forefront with the killer Freestyle Man Thirsty Monk Mix of “Mr Negative” by Star Spangled Banner, full of baseline notes that twist and turn throughout and a very resourceful vocal sample. The Original Tribal Mix of Ebon’s “Sleepless 2” unleashes yet another brutal baseline, while the vocal professes the listener to ‘go home and get some sleep’, a suggestion not to be taken lightly in accordance with the head #%*king this mix has done to me. The Irony is not hidden by the fact that the very next track is by far the one designed to do most damage to the brain if played at a very loud volume. “Process Cyan” by Ant is the musical delight and I don’t think I’m in the state to discuss the elements of this incredible production. Aidan Lavelle under the guise of Mode is given the honour of concluding this journey, and he does not let us down as he provides the most epic and uplifting moment of the album, achieved by a sweet melody and moving string patterns.
It’s quite simply amazing how someone so down to earth can create something so musically advanced. Zabiela delivers a journey of delicate drums, mind twisting effects and most of all, devastating evil baselines. Sure many will marvel at the technical aspects of James, but for me scratching, looping and using effects are all really useless unless you can incorporate it into something bigger. James has done exactly that, used all his skills to create a greater overall outlook.
It's by far one of the most impressive mix compilations in the last few years, all by a man who is yet to hit his mid 20's and who is still in the early stages of his DJ'ing career. Like Sasha & Digweed did in their early career with their 'Northern Exposure' mix, James has release a mix which will stamp his imprint on an often stale dance music scene, and most of all begin his rise to the crème de la crème of the DJ circuit. This is James Zabiela's 'Sound in Motion'.
Both the CD and Unmixed Vinyl release are due out in stores on the 14th July. However, you can get upfront copies of both the CD & the Vinyl through the Hooj.com Promo Service.