Henrik Schwarz - House Masters

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  • Henrik Schwarz may always be known as the man behind that Omar remix. Four years later, he's still doing the same trick, and it's still working. Schwarz's M.O. is to intricately construct tracks and remixes in knowing layers, purposefully building the tension and never letting anything be even a hair's width out of place. Sometimes this makes his music a little too predictable, a little too married to an upward arc, but it has also given rise to several modern club classics. You couldn't really play more than one track from this compilation in a row, let alone try to listen to the whole thing in one sitting. In isolation, each one forms a perfectly dramatic moment that could define the peak of a set. But the cumulative effect of more than one leaves you in limbo too long, and after a while the formula wears thin. Like watching a whole series of 24 in one go, limitations rise quickly to the fore. Dive in and dissect the offerings for your own ends and it's much more successful. What Schwartz—a laptop act who is slicker than most—does with gorgeous jazz-funk classics like Donald Byrd's "Think Twice" is quite remarkable. He makes every element in his arrangement dance for him, orchestrating them like some mad conductor. His tantrically teasing remix of Mari Bone's "Vuoi Vuoi Me" is also a highlight that has doubtless provided many dance floor moments since its release seven years ago. There's also a pop-leaning accessibility and crisp electronic sheen to these tracks that makes them easy to like and complete no-brainers for DJs looking to get emotional: the frosty, harpsichord melodies and hummed vocals of "Take Words In Return" (one of two Schwarz originals on the compilation) is a case in point. Where some producers craft faceless tools, Schwarz makes precision weapons that will always stand proud in any set. That's no mean feat. And though not every one works (the endlessly filtered and pixelated chord vamps of "Sky" are particularly grating) you could never accuse Schwarz of being lazy or phoning in his work. Instead, this is painstakingly produced stuff that can really bring life to the dance floor.
  • Tracklist
      CD 1: 01. Ane Brun - Headphone Silence (Henrik Schwarz Remix) 02. Ben Westbeech & Henrik Schwarz - Inflections 03. Henrik Schwarz - Imagination Limitation 04. Black Rose - Sky 05. Code 718 - Equniox (Henrik Schwarz Remix) 06. Coldcut - Walk A Mile In My Shoes (Henrik Schwarz Remix) 07. Detroit Experiment - Think Twice (Henrik Schwarz Remix) 08. Emmanuel Jal - Kuar (Henrik Schwarz Remix) 09. Henrik Schwarz - Leave My Head Alone Brain 10. Henrik Schwarz - Take Words In Return CD 2: 01. Henrik Schwarz & Kuniyuki - Once Again (Henrik Schwarz Version) 02. Henrik Schwarz & Amampondo - I Exist Because Of You' 03. Visti & Meyland - Yes Maam (Henrik Schwarz Remix) 04. Mari Bone - Vuoi Vuoi Me (Henrik Schwarz Remix) 05. The Jacksons - Dancing Machine (Henrik Schwarz Remix) 06. Stateless - Bloodstream (Henrik Schwarz Remix) 07. Sheharzad - Yalla Yalla (Henrik Schwarz Remix) 08. Omar - Im Feeling You (Henrik Schwarz Remix) 09. Henrik Schwarz, Ame, Dixon & Derrick Carter - Where We At? 10. Henrik Schwarz & Bugge Wesseltoft - Kammermusik (Henrik Schwarz Remix)