Various - Wiggle For 20 Years

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  • The name said it all. When London DJs Terry Francis, Nathan Coles and Eddie Richards started their Wiggle night in 1994, they wanted to inject a dose of gyrating low-end into 4/4. It was all about the basslines, as Richards said in his recent RA Exchange. 20 years on, those basslines are still there, but they now sound straitjacketed by the conventions of tech house. The irony of tech house is that, though it began as deliberate attempt to mix genres, it became as inward-looking as any of the purists it railed against. It seemed like a good idea at the time: spinning house tough enough for the techno boys and techno groovy enough for their girlfriends to get down to. Yet when tech house became a sound in itself, the results often felt like a half-arsed compromise. You can't hold the Wiggle lads responsible for the tepid stuff churned up in their wake—indeed, their Wiggle Recordings label has put out some excellent tech house records, like 2000's Discfunktional from Coles and Francis as The Delinquents. But their 20th anniversary mix, featuring 20 unreleased tracks from Wiggle affiliates like D'Julz, Pure Science and Saytek, is an example of the raw sonics and pedestrian rhythms that often make tech house something of a curate's egg. Slamming straight in with no sense of build-up or buggering about, Alex Arnout and Temp O'Neil's "Several Ways" has the warped vocals and slivers of melody that are a defining feature of this mix. On some tracks, like Todd Bodine's "Symphony Of Truth Project," there's simply nothing to sink your teeth into, but in others, such as Just Be's "My New Girlfriend" and the Darren Roach remix of Kenny Raw's "Distorted Reality," you get a sweet taste of soulful vocals or a sharp acid tang, but in general the narrow range of sounds and tempos makes for a pretty monotonous diet. The mixing is impeccably tight in the way it locks into the groove, but only the the eagle-eared will pick up the barely perceptible shifts in tone. On tracks like Dub Taylor's "Chasing Jean-Claude," there's no sense of climax. With Jay Tripwire and Joeski's "Entranced," the mix finishes as suddenly as it starts. Maybe some find that lack of release tantric, but for the rest of us, Wiggle For 20 Years is bound to be a little unsatisfying.
  • Tracklist
      01. Alex Arnout feat. Tempo O'Neil - Several Ways 02. James Kameran - Ai Weiwei 03. Lo - Waste Of Space 04. D'Julz - Give Me Your Hand 05. Corrie - Doing My Dance 06. Kenny Raw - Distorted Reality (Darren Roach Remix) 07. Pure Science - Don't Hold Back 08. Saytek - Two Words 09. Dachshund - Quiproquo 10. Just Be - My New Girlfriend 11. Lorenzo Blender - Subboom 12. Dub Taylor - Chasing Jean-Claude 13. DZNB - Adult Friend Finder 14. Todd Bodine - Symphony Of Truth Project 15. Bravofox - Bludine Paler 16. Berkson & What - Psychedelic Underground (RM Mix) 17. Asadinho feat. Effluence - Turn, Turn, Turn 18. Philipp Ort - Like That 19. Gideon Jackson & Daniel Poli - Ghost Dancing 20. Jay Tripwire & Joeski – Entranced