News from our beloved therapist, that is, the Chief Audio Therapist, Dave Seaman, is that his record label Audio Therapy is five years old. To mark the occasion, the head honcho has put out "This is Audio Therapy", a double CD, which includes some of the label's past releases mixed by himself (CD1), and several of the tracks on CD1 and other unreleased pearls in an unmixed format (CD2).
A first glance at the tracklisting for CD1 and it would seem Seaman has been having it large in the home of Socrates with quite a number of tracks coming from Greek producers. And indeed CD1 kicks off with a slice of Grecian progressive breaks, "Quiet," from Nick & John Dalagelis. As the breakbeat, a spacey fizzling harmony and howling voices take control, the first moment on the mix appears in the from of an accapella of Infusion's "Legacy". The catchy lyrics of 'Synesthesia coloured blue. Aquaman knows what to do" nicely complement the Greek intro and lead into one of the hottest talents around, Habersham.
The awesome hi-hats, solid funk and even some melodic drums loosen up things on Habersham's "Dryspell" while those who like tech-edged electro sounds will appreciate the next three offerings from Kosmas Epsilon which build up to the first climax.
"Monster Puppy" has those typical awesome antsy synths and a slight breaks-oriented rhythm; sounds which are both delightful and a delight to dance to. After the breakdown the bassline of the monstrous Puppy starts to rumble; its hi-hat stabs intercepted more and more by the slamming V-Sag interpretation of "Ill Ssa".
"There can be only one," a collaboration between Kosmas Epsilon and Viton, is a proggier, perhaps Chable-esque piece - dark driving bass drums like guitar laden riffs that are loosened by airy vocals and synth riffs.
The Audio Therapy skies suddenly clear as German Oliver Moldan delivers a funky, percussive and wet variation of the Phil K & Habersham track "Cloudbrake." Underlined by the accapella version of Dave Seaman's own "My Own Worst Enemy," the rework of "Cloudbrake" from the Tribehouse resident focuses on the guitar sample and ethnic vocal - wrapped in a jacket of funkier and more tribal elements - before being followed by Moldan's "Marraca$h," under his Prawler moniker.
"Marraca$h" surprises with a Balearic/Latin character and changing background bass synth eliciting images of limbo dancing and booty-shaking madness. The breakdown sees an Arabic vocal thrown in before leading into hand claps which rise to the surface. Moldan is currently in the process of finishing his artist album and if these tracks are anything to go by, it will definitely be one worth checking out.
"Marraca$h" dissolves into the deeper alternative mix of "Finding" from Greek producer Stel feat. John Elliot with Seaman; its changing bass structure making it sound more rock music oriented. Discreet acid noises and the male vocals of John Elliot finish this track off nicely before Hybrid step up with their storming 4/4 and breakbeats Matrix Dub arrangement of "Kiss For The Dying" from prog veterans, Killahurtz (Lee Fredericks, Nic Britton and Mick Parks from Tilt).
Hybrid's distinctive way of juxtaposing beats with computer beeps, trademark synths and running drums is the second peak on compilation. Make no mistake about it, if this were rock music, head banging would be mandatory.
Tone Depth's Dark Dub of "To the Moon" picks up the pace and tightens things up; its harder drums interlaced by hypnotic noises and layered by vocalist Matt Shapiro. After the second beat eclipse, Seaman prepares us for the landing with the Dimi Phaze remix of Phatjak's "Dirty Sunday." Featuring a '70s style bass it's like a nod to an old TV series giving the compilation a somewhat nostalgic fade out.
This therapy is much more enjoyable than the latest session with your shrink and in my opinion is a definitely a standout mix compilation for this year. It's just too bad that it's not covered by health insurance!