- In 2014, the idea that a club-branded mix CD should convey a sense of that club's distinctive appeal is a quaint anachronism. Few big clubs have clear musical identities, so the mix becomes a platform for the guest DJ rather than an artefact embodying the venue's spirit. This makes Pan-Pot's Watergate 17 an unexpected pleasure. More than most of its peers, Watergate does cleave to a relatively tight musical remit. The soundtrack on its riverside dance floor is a mixture of groovy, jackin' and what you might call post-minimalist house—deep, repetitive music laced with playful, psychedelic flourishes. Upstairs, under that famous LED display, the sound is more hard-edged. As close associates of the club, Pan-Pot understand Watergate's DNA, and elaborate on its aesthetic with real acuity.
This being Watergate, a metronomic momentum is what draws you in first. Radio Slave's familiar "Don't Stop No Sleep" and Marco Resmann's warm, chord-driven house ease you into this 4/4 hypnosis. But every time the mix threatens to settle into a cosy functionality, Pan-Pot tilt the mood, whipping you out of your reverie. The section around Shall Ocin's "Lurking Wolves" and Whyt Noyz's "Shift" is a delirious mind-melt of wandering synth lines, disembodied voices and samples of what sounds like ripping Velcro—a reminder of how great unhinged minimal techno can still be. The next shift, into a period of relatively brash, dramatic techno with Darlyn Vlys and Pan-Pot's "Substance," is similarly deft. This goes on until we're pitched into a period of deeper, bumpier techno, beginning with Ben Klock's breakbeat-driven remix of Josh Wink's "Are You There." The mix closes, fittingly, in the sunrise vistas of Pan-Pot and Vincenzo's "Fiction Inc."
This subtle exploration of styles is as suited to home-listening as late-night larks. Watergate hardly needs the exposure and extra tourist traffic, but you can well imagine someone hearing this in Manchester or Milan and pledging to make a pilgrimage to the spot on Falckensteinstrasse. Pan-Pot have given them a genuine snapshot of what to expect.
01. Pavel Petrov - Adapt
02. Radio Slave - Don't Stop No Sleep
03. Marco Resmann - Hello Again
04. Clint Stewart - Drenched
05. Shall Ocin - Lurking Wolves
06. Whyt Noize - Shift
07. Mark Broom - Nucleus
08. Darlyn Vlys - Floor 122 (Santé + Sidney Charles Warehouse Dub)
09. Pan-Pot - Substance
10. Alberto Pascual - Doer
11. Dario Zenker - 27 Northwest
12. Maceo Plex - Conjure Bass
13. Stephan Hinz - Hungry
14. Skober - Bring It To Me
15. Pan-Pot - Grey Matter
16. Josh Wink - Are You There (Ben Klock Remix)
17. Martin Eyerer - Reckless
18. Pan-Pot & Slam - Conductor
19. Pan-Pot & Vincenzo - Fiction Inc