Steve Lawler - Viva London

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  • Steve Lawler, he of the sleazy tribal and dark drums, moves away from the sinister charm of his Lights Out series to the more predictable world of prog-slanted tech house on his latest mix for Renaissance. With few tricks in its bag, Viva London is a mediocre compilation. Disc one is a disjointed head scratcher that mixes up half-decent tracks that fail to catch fire, while disc two is sheer bombast with Lawler absolutely gorging at the trough of popular summertime techno hits. Viva London basically sounds like Steve is letting fans know that he is “down” with the new sound, but there’s not much innovation or flair here. Long, noodly keyboard passages and uninspired track selection make the first mix an awfully hard pill to swallow. Sure, David K’s ‘Three Arches’ is a damn fine track, Kadebostan’s ‘Spirit Soldiers’ is pretty swell too with original melodic textures that recall old school UK prog like Blue Amazon or Evolution, and the Patrick Zigon remix of Gel Abril’s ‘Very Wrong’ is probably the best cut on the whole comp (quite possibly because it manages to be both sophisticated and sleazy, and therefore sounds like the Steve Lawler of old), but these brief moments of clarity are bookshelved between long stretches of, to put it bluntly, rather uninspiring minimal boredom, for example the cuts by Luke Hess and Reshuffle. The mix finishes where it begins, ending with Samim’s fine remix of ‘Three Arches’, but given what has come before, the effect is less coming full circle and more two-for-one licensing deal. Disc two is just disappointing, sounding as if it was culled from Beatport’s Top 20. ‘Ribcage’, ‘Confused’, ‘China Girl’ are all trotted out by Lawler, but at this stage it could be Sander Kleinenberg, John Digweed or even Layo & Bushwacka behind the decks. Expanding your horizons is one thing, but following the crowd is another: On Viva London, it’s almost impossible to distinguish Lawler from the rest of the progressive house mafia. For a man known for the dizzying heights of Lights Out and the Dark Drums series, Viva London is a serious disappointment.
  • Tracklist
      01 [email protected] - Plumonito (Matias Muten Mix) 02 David K - Three Arches (Original Dub) 03 Kadebostan - Spirit Soldiers (Original Mix) 04 Gel Abril - Very Wrong (Patrick Zigon Mix) 05 Luke Hess - Omnipotent 06 REshuffle - Paparazzi 07 Nils Noa Feat. Dave Sinister - X-rated (Christian Sol Mix) 08 Danton Eeprom - To The Bone 09 Deetron Feat. DJ Bone - Life Soundtrack 10 Mario Zar & Marco Berto - Infrared 11 David K - Three Arches (Samim Mix) CD 2 01 Joel Mull & Sean Palm - Fluffer 02 Onur Özer - Allegro Energico 03 Ole & Polygon - Instinto Primario 04 Dubfire - RibCage 05 Simon Baker - Confused 06 Bushwacka! - Long Distance 07 Adam Beyer - China Girl 08 Steve Lawler - Violet 09 Der Dritte Raum - Plutonium 10 Remo Pres. Sidechainers - Steel 24 11 Martin Eyerer & Oliver Klein - Tiflis 12 Steve Lawler - Courses For Horses