From the 'Afterhours' downtempo/experimental double set, to James Lavelle's recent Barcelona outing, there is no doubt that the GU Boys are venturing further into progressive territories - minus the "house".
Nick Warren continues this thread with his latest mix, coming straight out of Reykjavik, Iceland. In what has been said to be the man's final compilation, Warren goes out with a bang - spanning genres from trip hop and experimental to break beat and melodic trance.
Disk one is the Warren you would expect to see if one spent a late evening downing a pint at his flat. Similar to the "Back to Mine" compilation Warren did a few years back, the mix is largely downtempo - featuring stellar tracks by the likes of Avatar, Boards of Canada, and Planet Funk.
The similarites to his "Back to Mine" outing differ toward the end of disc one, when things pick up with the excellent Grayarea track "Yewminyst" - featuring solid breaks, nu skool synths, over a stuttering female vocal, the tune showcases the best sides of break beat, with a progressive attitude.
Disk two is the Nick Warren GU fans have come to know and love. The mix is a solid 4/4 structure, taking off where Warren left off with the Amsterdam compilation. While many DJ's tend to go dark (and oftentimes boring), Warren tends to keep things melodic. Starkid's "Crayons" is an excellent example - it features the synthy melodies Warren showcased on his last GU mix, yet takes them up to the current moment and beyond. The track evokes the best elements of Cosmo's "Take Me With you", and evolves them into a top rate tune. The anthemic "Rise" by Vector (featuring the vocals of Alan Johnson) is destined to be a dance floor monster in 2003.
If this is to be Warren's last compilation - it will be a sad day for dance music. The man is always able to put together top notch mixes, while keeping things interesting and exciting.
Nick Warren takes a blank landscape, paints it with touches of atmospheric mastery, breakbeat magnificence, and experimental brilliance - thus creating a masterpiece.
1 AVATAR – DUB IN TIME
2 SUBSTRUCTURE – FIREWIRE – SUMSONIC
3 ATLAS – COMPASS ERROR – PLASTICA
4 ULRICH SCHNAUSS – NOBODY’S HOME – CITY CENTRE OFFICES
5 SHUFFLEHEADS - ROLL CALL – FREMONT
6 BOARDS OF CANADA – HAPPY CYCLING – WARP
7 YUNX – THINKING ABOUT YOUR NEXT MOVE
8 PLANET FUNK – TIGHTROPE ARTIST TALE – BUSTIN LOOSE
9 MOMU – THE DIVE – LOOQ
10 MASTERMIND – IN EVERY TRUTH
11 JUSTIN SIMMONS – HELGA MOLLER
12 BURUFUNK – OUTSIDER
13 GLOBAL COMMUNICATIONS – 14:31 – DEDICATED
14 MOT – FAITH PART 1
15 GRAYAREA – YEWMINIST - HOPE
16 GLIMMER OF DOPE – LOST LOVE – OXYGEN MUSIC WORKS
17 TOCHARIAN – AWAKENING - INTRINSIC
18 JUAN RECOBA – HEADSTART – ADVANCE
19 AURAL IMBALANCE –AURAL NAVIGATION – DEEP SPACE
20 VECTOR – RISE
21 AQUACULTURE – DON’T PLAY THE GAME – AIRGAP
22 DREAM TRAVELLER – HEADPUSHER
23 RAMBIENT – KARMA - ZOMBA
24 STARKID – CRAYONS
25 SUBSKY – STRAWBERRY FIELDS – CERVUS
26 KRIS B – LAST MINUTE FLIGHT