- With the records he signs and the sets he plays, Matt Tolfrey tends to shy away from obvious anthems. That's meant that Leftroom, his label, has weathered changing fashions pretty well, but has also struggled to find a unique identity, as can be seen from the compilations its released. The austere minimal of the first Don't Be Leftout, from 2007, seemed to position the label as the British Minus, while Laura Jones' 2012 Leftroom Presents... could have been a deeper Visionquest compilation. Tolfrey makes this connection even clearer by calling on Visionquest lynchpin Ryan Crosson to co-pilot this mix of exclusive tracks and remixes.
Crosson, in his Sweatshop Boys guise alongside Lee Curtiss and Cesar Merveille, also provides one of Don't Be Leftout's best tracks in the form of "Wanna Be More." It's not really a peak—this is a compilation that doesn't do highs or lows—so much as the culmination of the pace he and Tolfrey build with the preceding tracks. This is carbohydrate house music: while tunes like Gavin Herlihy's "Was I Supposed To?" can seem dull and stodgy at first, the benefit is in the way they slowly release their energy into the mix.
The overall aesthetic is familiar from the sparse style of Tolfrey's 2012 solo album Word Of Mouth—solid house rhythms with minimum melodic adornment. Though where that album was heavy on vocalists, here it's mostly just Jaw's deep baritone on "Your Smile" and Kevin Knapp's sermonising on the Mr. Fingers remix of Tolfrey's own "Distant Story." That closes proceedings before things fade out with the decaying dub of Jay Haze and Ricardo Villalobos's "The Darkest Disco," an appropriately understated ending to a mix pretty much bereft of bells and whistles.
01. Jack Riley - This Isn't You
02. Benedetto & Farina Feat Jaw - Your Smile (Spoken House Mix)
03. Sam Russo - Past Ways
04. Hugo Barritt - Lever Tate
05. Maher Daniel & Ostrich - Hypnosis
06. Gavin Herlihy - Was I Supposed To?
07. Canal & Garfield - Eastpoint Breaks
08. Lil Mark - 1994 (Matt Tolfrey's Freedom To Party Dub)
09. Geddes - Run For Your Money
10. Huxley and Sam Russo - Don't Undastand (Acappella)
11. Sweatshop Boys - Wanna Be More
12. H-Foundation feat. Blakkat - All I Need
13. William Kouam Djoko - Sufficed To Say
14. Ryan Crosson - Two One Three
15. Luke Solomon - Psycho Babble
16. Pezzner - The Answer
17. Matt Tolfrey feat. Jem Cooke and Kevin Knapp - Distant Story (Mr Finger's Galactic Mix)
18. Jay Haze feat. Ricardo Villalobos - The Darkest Disco (Matt Tolfrey Reprise)