Monday, September 30, 2013

DJ Mixes Revisited: Sheffield Mix Sessions Mixed By Chris Duckenfield - V/A (Turbo)

One of life's great mysteries, at least as far as I'm concerned, is that Chris Duckenfield isn't held in much higher esteem than he probably already is. I supposed he's relatively content to remain in the shadows, having more than played his part in the growth and cultivation, not just of the UK house sound but the wider one generally. Swag, his duo with Richard Brown, released so many seminal tracks over an approximate ten year period, from the mid-nineties onwards, that they were impossible to ignore. Characterised by a tough percussive backbone and a healthy electronic take on what are often more organic components, every one was a must buy and still puts much of todays pretenders to shame. I only ever caught Chris DJing once, at some party in a pub on All Saints' Road during the Notting Hill Carnival, but have listened to countless sets online and, of course, the mix now in question. 

 And it's a well-paced and beautifully-balanced piece of work, surprisingly released on Tiga's Turbo label. It's been around since 2001 now and has easily stood the test of time and listening to it again takes me back to what seems like a distant age when I went out and physically bought most of what is in the mix. Highlights for me are Ibex's 'The Last Laugh' which was released when most of what came out on Planet E was still something to buy on sight. 'Beautiful (Feel The Beauty Mix)' by Ground Level, whose Larry Heard parody comes off as being just as good as the man himself, 'Why Did You Do That?' by Tribalation, aka Grant Dell and Gareth Oxby, sticking their oar in on behalf of Croydon. . .  Nigel Hayes starts the ball rolling in earnest with 'Shriek' and Morgan Geist pops up twice, as the remixer of Daniel Wang's excellent opener '24 To Vector' and also with 'N'Arret Pas'. Short of mentioning everything which is on here, I'll just pick one more; Deja Vu's excellent 'Sex In The Dark', Barry Ashworth and Blaine Scanlon at the controls. 

 If you haven't heard this yet, then get on it when you can. As an example of selection and equilibrium it has yet to be surpassed, and it's also a valuable time capsule which highlights a lot of what was good about UK house at the beginning of the century.

01 Daniel Wang – 24 To Vector Z (Morgan Geist Commuter Mix) 
Remix – Morgan Geist 3:30 
02 Marschmellows – Soulpower (Jazzanova Rework) 
Remix – Jazzanova 5:14 
03 Only Child – Space Disco Latino 2:58 
04 Nigel Hayes – Shriek 4:57 
05 Deja Vu – Sex In The Dark 4:25 
06 Morgan Geist – Narret Pas 2:20 
07 Ground Level – Beautiful (Feel The Beauty Mix) 
Remix – Rick Garcia 5:24 
08 Swirl People – We Are 2:58 
09 Ibex – The Last Laugh 6:06 
10 Detox Twins – Loved Shared (Lil' Mark's Dub) 3:10 
11 Symbiosis – Oxygen 2:55 
12 Si Brad – Conapt (Dub) 4:03 
13 Tribalation – Why Did You Do That? 4:03 
14 Simon – Free At Last (Instrumental) 3:25 
15 Crispin J. Glover – Thin Ice 4:18 
16 Kerri "Kaoz 6:23" Chandler – Grass Cutter 2:53 
17 Wagon Cookin' – Moonstreams (2 Left Feet Dub) 5:16 
18 Jerome Sydenham & Dennis Ferrer – Kòkò Pt. 1 (Demo Dub) 4:05

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