Seven is a relatively unknown quantity outside the tightly knit circles of disco enthusiasts who still speak of his 2004 Slow Blow mixtape in hushed tones. His credentials, though, are second to none. Starting his DJ career in the late '80s warming up for Danny Rampling and Andrew Wetherall, Seven spent most of the '90s programming back rooms with splendid sets of rare hip-hop, disco, dub and general laid back Balearica. A move to Sweden lead Seven to set up the Jus Wax website, a veritable utopia for bearded vinyl fetishist and a space frequented by Scandinavian nu-disco scenesters such as Prins Thomas—who happened to write the sleeve notes for this comp.
The track that perhaps epitomises Originals is Nicky Robson's "Stars"; a stunning and long lost Gary Numan production that changes hands for $800 +. Found amongst a pile of mediocre crap in a basement on the outskirts of Stockholm, the record is a timeless piece of dance music that mixes electronic and live elements in a way that modern producers such as James Murphy and Lindstrom often aspire to. The scarcity value of "Stars" alone makes it worth the admission price for the compilation for even the most casual record collector.
Cult rarities aside, Originals contains some great music which would slot perfectly into any disco, Balearic and downtempo set. A joyous disco moment from usually serious tech house merchants Swayzak sees Alexander O'Neil and Hall & Oates mashed together to create a glorious slice of slow motion house on "Stronger Love." "Stars N' Bars," the opening track on the CD, is a quintessentially Ibizan groover blending wobbly Moog synthesiser, smooth Rhodes and an all-important indistinguishable European accent. Joker's '80s Euro disco cut, "African," is yet another highlight mixing a six-minute synthesiser solo with an incessant bass and drum groove not a million miles away from a 2009 Prins Thomas production.
Originals is an excellent compilation and a fine example of example of what hours of delving through stacks of dusty records can achieve. Many of the tracks actually sound more relevant than when they were made up to three decades ago; a testament to the lengths Mark Seven must have gone to find some of them. With the compilation limited to only 1000 copies, Originals may well soon be changing hands for sums similar to the super rarer source material included on the CD.
Thu / 2 Apr 2009
01. Stars 'N' Bars - Stars & Bars
02. Mr Monday - Daybreak
03. Blindboy - I Dream
04. Joker - African
05. Gareth John - Whizz Kids
06. Cities Of Foam - Last Man Standing
07. The Dynamic Hepnotics - Hepno Beat
08. Nicky Robson - Stars
09. Joe Montana - Five Stars
10. Swayzak - Stronger Love
11. Clay - My Unknown Love
12. Loui$ - Pink Footpath