Various - Soma 2006 Compilation

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  • In the seventeen years since Glasgow’s Soma Quality Recordings went into business, techno has undergone all manner of changes and developments, and been subject to a great many trends and genre stylings (not all of them memorable or wise…). Soma has not always been the leader of the pack in these movements and migrations, but it has never taken the back seat – as their 2006 compilation demonstrates. The real jewel in the contemporary Soma crown is young Alex Menzies, better known as Alex Smoke. While Smoke has seen his productions grace vinyl from voguish European imprints like Vakant and Trapez, Soma remains his true home (he released, among other things, his two stunning LPs and recent Sci.Fi.Hi.Fi. Vol. 3 mix CD on the imprint), and three of the eleven tracks here bear his name. Lusine’s restrained dub-techno version of Smoke’s ‘Make My Day’ is one of the CD’s highlights, while later on we’re treated to Perlon darling Matt John’s jacking but remorselessly minimalist take on ‘Meany’. Elsewhere label bosses Slam belie their veteran status with a spirited funking-up of Smoke’s rather solemn ‘Never Want To See You Again’, though it’s a shame that this cut was chosen over the pitched-down, ethereal version by Ada that also appeared on the original 12”. The BPM count rises with Black Dog’s ‘Riphead v2’, a likeable but not particularly vital-sounding blend of Detroit textures and heavily distorted bass riffage. Dave Congreve’s Repeat Repeat project serves up some meaty, heavily edited tech-house in the form of ‘Bounce Your Body to the Box’, while Silicone Soul sport some nicely-groomed electro-house grooves with their contribution ‘The Snake Charmer’, which for all its melodic panache, lack any real production bite. My Robot Friend appear twice in remixed form: taught a lesson in the old-school, by Chicago legend Derrick Carter, and a lesson in the new, by Berlin’s bass-hungry Modeselektor. The most satisfying track, however, is the stripped-down, bumping ‘Tick Tick Tick’ from old hands Funk D’Void and Phil Kieran, who deliver a cut that will please fans of Dubsided with its unhinged breakdowns and dancefloor-decimating drops. The Separatists and Octogen also contribute to a solid compilation, one that’s looking forward to techno’s future while showing a comfort with its past.
  • Tracklist
      Disk 1: 01. Alex Smoke ‘Make My Day’ (Lusine Dub Remix) 02. The Black Dog ‘Riphead’ v2 03. Octogen ‘Cside’ (10 Tech Mix by Silicon) 04. Alex Smoke ‘Meany’ (Matt John Remix) 05. Repeat Repeat ‘Bounce Your Body to the Box’ 06. Alex Smoke ‘Never Want To See You Again’ (Slam Remix) 07. Silicone Soul ‘The Snake Charmer’ 08. My Robot Friend ‘Swallow’ 09. Funk D’void + Phil Kieran ‘Tick Tick Tick’ 10. My Robot Friend ‘Dial 0’ (Modeselektor Remix) 11. The Separatists ‘Audiomer’ Disc 2: Slam mix 01. The Black Dog ‘Mental Ward Sleep Machine’ 02. Alex Smoke ‘Intro’ 03. Vector Lovers ‘Boulevard’ 04. Alex Smoke ‘Meany’ (Matt John Remix) 05. Funk D Void ‘Can’t Get Enough of a Bad Thing’ 06. Slam ‘Positive Education’ (Richie Hawtin’s Stripped Mix) 07. The Separatists ‘Krockit’ 08. The Separatists ‘Shake U Down’ 09. Alex Smoke ‘Snider’ 10. Funk D Void & Phil Kieran ‘Black Worm’ 11. My Robot Friend ‘Dial Zero’ (ModeSelektor Remix) 12. Schatrax ‘Mispent Years’ (Silicone Soul mix) 13. Slam ‘Groovelock’ 14. Adam Beyer/Jesper Dahlback ‘Redemption’ 15. Repeat Repeat ‘City of Angels’ 16. Funk D Void & Phil Kieran ‘White Lice’ 17. Skintrade ‘Andomraxxes’ 18. Repeat Repeat ‘Bombardier’