- With deep house, drum & bass and acid jazz among the genres in which he's dabbled, you could say that Ben Westbeech is creatively restless. You might also say he's quick to jump on passing bandwagons, but that wouldn't really be fair. His two solo albums to date—the white boy soul of 2007's Welcome To The Best Years Of Your Life and the vocal house of 2011's Theres More To Life Than This—weren't classics, but they had a proficiency and conviction that showed he was more than just a trend-hopper. And while those records proved his chops as a vocalist, it's in his production work as Breach that he's really hit pay-dirt, with this summer's festival-smashing "Jack" scaling the UK charts. It also provided ammo for the critics: its electro house bassline and Benny Benassi-style vocal made it an obvious anthem, but it was much less interesting than "Fatherless," his breakthrough UK funky track from 2010.
If Wesbteech wants to restore his cred among connoissuers, he could do a lot worse than DJ-Kicks. Like Westbeech, !K7's esteemed mix series has moved through distinct phases, from the early techno editions mixed by CJ Bolland and Carl Craig, through to late-night smoking soundtracks from Kruder & Dorfmeister and Nightmares On Wax, and on to its present focus on contemporary house. Breach's contribution is right at home in this patch. It fits snugly into prevailing trends, too, collecting some of the best underground tracks of the last few years, such as Cassio Kohl's soulful "Broken" and Redinho's wobbly "Searching." His customary exclusive production is "Beroving," a track that puts a spongy bassline beneath searing synths. There are older tunes as well, including Winx's "How's The Music?" and Dopplereffekt's "Z-Boson."
Westbeech claims to have been DJing since he was 12 years old, and his DJ-Kicks makes that easy to believe. The mix is free of fussy tricks but has drops in all the right places. From the Balearic intro of Wire People's "Triangle Vision" to the final fade-out of Sabre's low-lit "Nightdrive To Bolland," it shows that Westbeech's heart really does belong to house music. For now, at least.
01. Innercity - Prince of the Immortal Woods
02. Wire People - Triangle Vision
03. Beesmunt Soundsystem - All Day
04. Fred P. - It Is What It Is
05. Pedestrian - Hoyle Road
06. Coni - My Secret Diving
07. Breach - Beroving (DJ-Kicks)
08. Cassio Kohl - Broken
09. CLOSE & Joe Dukie - My Way (Dusky Remix)
10. Iron Galaxy - Attention Seeker
11. Detroit Swindle - The Break Up
12. Dopplereffekt - Z-Boson
13. Redinho - Searching
14. Winx - How's The Music
15. Sabre - Nightdrive To Bolland