- Riley Reinhold (Triple R) and his handful of labels, Trapez, Trapez Ltd, My Best Friend and Traum, seemed to spend most of 2007 on the ropes ready to go down. Beginning with last year’s Selection 5 mix, things weren’t looking so good, with a slew of indifferent, rather than overtly negative reviews raining in just when it seemed the crowd were at last baying for minimal. So despite pioneering and supporting the minimal sound over the years, Reinhold’s quorum of labels seemed to have arrived off the boat too early and were taking it on the chin more than most.
But Reinhold and crew haven’t been a presence behind the great clubs, stores and distributors of Cologne, Frankfurt and god knows where else for almost 25 years to succumb to a badly timed sucker punch. It only takes a look back to some of the labels later releases of 2007, including Reinhold’s own, to see the fighting spirit. If you still need more convincing, then you only need his latest Selection 6 mix, consisting of recent and unreleased Trapez tracks to see how much fight is still left them.
Continuing on from last year, Selection 6 smashes 21 cuts into an hour of music. Now detractors might argue that this rapid turnover only serves to hide the mediocre moments, but the mixing is at times sublime and very much seems to be about highlighting quality rather than obfuscating defects. The switch between Mauler’s ‘Hybrid’ and 3 Channels´ blinding ‘It’s Getting’ Kinda Hectic’ is a case in point, emphasising the slickness and the pressure in each. Similarly, the drift from Bülent Gürler’s ‘Koala’ into SLG’s ‘Earthworm’ fuses the former’s naturalist bent with the later’s disorientating bleeps to create a compelling bio-tech hybrid. Certainly the transitions are vastly improved from earlier sets, notably Selection 3 for example.
The overall sound doesn’t deviate too much from classic Trapez minimal despite the absence of big names from past issues such as Und, Dominik Eulberg and Jeff Samuel. Reinhold himself only contributes an edited unreleased track (‘Secret History’) to open the set, whereas the biggest player is Madrid’s Alex Under, chiming in with three tracks, two of them unreleased remixes of his ‘Trapezones Erectos’.
Selection 6 is minimal yes, but also with an occasional subtle neo-trance edge at times in both the mixing, to play off the pressure changes, and also at the core of many tracks. The result is a more driving and consciously psychedelic sound that is less rigid than straighter minimal, particularly in the opening half. Salvatore Freda & Massimo Stefanelli’s ‘Endless Ride’, one of the more neo-trance cuts, is one of the sets highlights, while the complicated arrangement of Mihalis Safras’ ‘R2’ has enough oomph to enough to lift itself to a dizzy peak. And just when you think a sterile glitch mood could take over, Reggy Von Oers’ ‘Metza’ slowly turns the mix all light headed and dazzling, while Safra’s unreleased mix of Alex Under’s ‘Trapezones Erectors’ is less trance, but certainly beefy, banging and playful.
The other unreleased tracks, which mostly fall towards the end of the set, are a mixed bunch. Roland Dill’s ‘Modus Operandy’ is a little bleepy while still retaining a compelling beat, while Florian Meindl’s ‘Subfocus’ suggests that 2008 will continue to offer more ups and downs for Trapez. But overall, Selection 6 is an unquestionable return to form for the Reinhold and his label, suggesting that like Robert de Niro in Raging Bull, you might get one over him from time to time, but you’ll never knock him down.
01 Riley Reinhold - Secret History
02 Bülent Gürler - Koala
03 SLG - Earthworm
04 Reggy Von Oers - Cytric
05 Salvatore Freda & Massimo Stefanelli - Endless Ride
06 Red Robin & Jakob Hilden - Dandelion
07 Mihalis Safras - R2
08 Aquilina & Venturi - Disco Bus
09 Alex Under - Trapezones Erectos
10 Mauler - Hybrid
11 3 Channels - It's Gettin' Kinda Hectic
12 Lucio Aquilina - Feeling Plastik
13 Massi DL - Wonderland
14 Alex Under - Trapezones Erectos - Mihalis Safras Rmx
15 Alexi Delano & Xpansul - El Siete De Oros
16 Reggy Von Oers - Metza
17 Bülent Gürler - Fire
18 Alex Under - Trapezones Erectos - Xpansul Rmx
19 Roland Dill - Modus Operandy
20 Florian Meindl- Subfocus
21 SLG - Rushhour - Bülent Gürler Rmx