- Vibe compilations have been useful waymarkers in the Future Times journey, reflecting the label's steady growth. The first, in 2009, was a single 12-inch, the second a double, and Vibe 3 spreads across three platters. Besides the usual D.C. suspects, there are contributors from Dublin, Bristol and Brooklyn, as well as a healthy showing from Vancouver's Mood Hut crew. The pool of talent is broader than ever, but the vibe is still unmistakable.
It's there loud and clear on OV's "Junk Funk," whose hectic drum loops are repeatedly submerged in a burbling hot tub of new age tones. Most of the comp juggles these two elements: busy beats, which take house and electro patterns to fractured extremes, and the balmy synths that soothe them. Sometimes, as on Steve Summers' gorgeous "Shimmer," the results are almost ambient. Elsewhere the mood is more restless, as on label head Max D's contributions—solo ("Octopus"), collaborating with Dawit of fellow D.C. label 1432 R ("Knowledge Body") and as half of Beautiful Swimmers ("Primo"). These tracks are so friendly in mood that it's easy to forget how deeply abstract they are. In this respect, Vibe 3 goes much further than its predecessor, which leant on firmer house frameworks.
New artists sometimes outshine the old guard. Jeremy Hyman dazzles with the bright, busy "Machine Stops," and Edy Alta smuggles in some deceptively slamming drum work on "First Sign Of Artifice." Each nails that balance of obtuseness and charm better than, say, Juju & Jordash's muddy "Soggy Bottom," or the overbearing "Krums" by Protect-U. Other newcomers bring outlier styles to the compilation, but slot in nicely all the same. Shanti Celeste's "Strung Up" is a straighter electro genre piece, but wonderfully executed. Further Records' Raica keeps the mood icy on "Makmba."
The pick of the bunch is Mood Hut's Jack J, who appears as Cest Life, though "New Years Eve 2013" ploughs much the same yacht rock/deep house furrow as his recent Future Times single. As with that gem, this one's guitar licks and insouciant bongos create a mood of utter contentment. With Vibe 3, the Future Times crew is looking stronger than ever.
A1 OV - Junk Funk
A2 Juju & Jordash - Soggy Bottom
B1 Max D - Octopus
B2 Grapes & Isle O' Man - Up The Dubs (It Can't Rain Forever) feat. The Wino Boys
B3 Raica - Makmba
C1 Beautiful Swimmers - Primo
C2 Edy Alta - First Sign Of Artifice
D1 Protect-U - Krums
D2 Jeremy Hyman - Machine Stops
E1 Shanti Celeste - Strung Up
E2 Dawit & Dolo - Knowledge Body
F1 Steve Summers - Shimmer
F2 DSR.MR - Crystal Jungle
F3 C'est Life - New Years Eve 2013