Review Summary: When happy goes moody
Back in 2012, John Talabot released ‘Fin’ and achieved critical darling status, all the while remaining somewhat pop friendly and loyal to his balearic house origins. Not a year later, he is invited to release the next edition of long-running DJ-Kicks mix series; giving him the opportunity to prove he is a great producer and a consistent selector in less than 12 months.
And prove it he did. Across 27 tracks, the spaniard created a powerful atmosphere by using a well worn house music method: calm, buildup, climax, calm and repeat. This may sound operatic for some people, and it may very well be, but it doesn’t matter if the execution is this solid and the peaks reach such dizzying heights.
Because when this hits, it leaves mark. Take the transition between Unknown’s #001 (boy, is that track hard to google) and Round’s Glass (from Talabot’s own label, Hivern Discs) where the melancholic melody of the latter hits you so logically, you end up wondering just for how long has Talabot been agonising about the track sequencing.
While this holds true for most of the mix, I’d say the only misstep with the track selection is the inclusion of Talaboman’s (Talabot and Axel Boman project) Sideral. While a solid track on his own, trying to go the traditional house route this late, this sudden, and for such a short period of time, it cant’t help but leave a weird impression. In fact, it leaves you wondering if Talabot didn’t include this exclusively for promotional purposes.
And that’s too bad, because the only other instance in the mix where Talabot used his own productions, he used them to devastating results. We’re talking about the sublime blend between Tempel Rytimik’s Anagrama (a track produced by him and one half of Genius of Time, Alexander Berg), his own Without You (arguably, the highlight of the release) and well know floor filler, Axel Boman’s Klinsmann. It’s in this under-110 bpm section that the spaniard managed to define the melancholy, kind of trippy and yet highly danceable mood that will remain the norm for the entire mix.
In an interview with Electronic Beats in 2013, Talabot told a story about how he came to find Jurgen Paape remix of Kron’s Silikron: he listened a local DJ play it at Apolo and he found it so beautiful, he went to the DJ and asked its name so he could write it on the notebook he used to carry around with the names of the tracks he liked (how delightfully retro is that"). And there it is, this little track, sitting at position 25 of one of the most important releases of his career. I can only guess, but I’ll bet it’s this emotional connection to the tracks what made this mix such a wonderful entry for DJ-Kicks mix series.
In short, buy it, you won’t regret it.