James Lavelle - GU:023 Barcelona

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  • Disc 1 starts with a quality intro, by Lavelle's Unklesounds, which is the name for the joint DJ and production efforts between James Lavelle and Richard File. It gives you the impression from both the sound and title, '1-3AM'. This is used to help create the initial atmosphere, all that an intro should do really. DJ Shadow kicks the album off together with a slamming track by Leftfield. Some production work by both Thomas Bangalter and Sotero follow, all four of these tracks take this disc on a climb with all lights pointing towards the peak ahead' As Layo + Bushwacka's 'Let The Good Times Roll' takes over and nears an end, that amazing bass-line from Sasha's 'Fundamental', which is in my opinion the winning track off AirDrawnDagger, slowly moves into view. Its beautiful sounding production together with the monster bass-line dominates, and for me, it's one of the finer moments on this disc! Evil9's 'Crooked' follows, a simple banging track before its recognisable trademark sounds begins pumping and you know this compilation is going nowhere but up. Continuing is Stir Fry's 'Breakin On The Street'. It takes the album in a completely different direction featuring a rather nice breakdown followed by some very perfectly timed changes, all of which ensures the upbeat feel of this disc just keep on flowing. The Drummatic Twins (previously know as 'Shades of Rhythm') are featured with 'Dominate', a very electro sounding track which gives this already diverse CD a new edge. Layo and Buskwacka are back with 'Shining Through' and the Unklesounds Edit of 'Fear' by Ian Brown closes the first disc in style. It may take a little while to familiarise yourself with it, but this is truly one disc that will rarely leave your CD Player for the next few months. At this point I am already sold, to the point where I feel like it doesn't really matter what the next disc is like. But one would be silly to overlook it as the track-listing alone features some good stuff; Meat Katie, Lee Burridge, Hybrid, Peace Division... some big names with some big tracks. james lavelleDisc Two takes a much more relaxed start, again with an 'UnkleSounds' intro this time '3-5AM', which helps set the stage for 'Underground Sound' by Pitch Black, a nice track which begins with a light tribal beat. Kybosh with 'Revolution' is up next and as the background beat from the following track, 'Atmosphere' by Rennie Pilgrim and Meat Katie mixes in (a track which uses an old, yet still very cool sample) you really start to get the feel for this disc. A selection of quality breaks production follows with Meat Katie's 'Next Life', Soul of Man's 'DirtyWaltzer' and Rennie Pilgrim & Uberzone with 'Blackwidow' - some very nice tracks that all work together well. Peace Division's 'On The Bandwagon' together with Duncan Gray's 'Ultra Savent' and Phil Kieran's 'Juicy' take the disc on a fairly progressive level before Lee Burridge's recent hammering release 'Lost' on Fire Recordings takes over. FC Kahuna's 'Glitteball', hits this second CD in a fairly different way than it did on Dave Seaman's GU:022, Melbourne. It is the first track on the previous GU release and acts as a nice warm-up whereas in this instance it has a much livelier feel. Hybrid's awesome sounding 'Big Bad Bounce' is a great track featuring some nice relaxing synths. And Smithmonger is next, starting to take this disc to a close with a nice track before the Unklesounds remix of 'There Goes The Fear' by Doves puts this disc to sleep as it all ends - one hell of a nice compilation. With this release it's clear that the Global Underground's Boxed Boys have tweaked their already refined compilation series to keep those extra two steps ahead of the constant evolving music industry. They have tapped into the music talent of James Lavelle, who over the past few years has really been taking electronic music to the next level by bridging various genres. The result is a compilation that pushes that GU standard bar just that little bit higher. Look out for next release, GU:024 from Iceland mixed by Nick Warren, but until then go out and get your copy of GU:023 - James Lavelle ' Barcelona. You will not be disappointed! Those of you that enjoyed Lavelle's Fabric release will undoubtedly be satisfied with his Global Underground. When talking to residentadvisor in a recent interview James mentions 'they're quite similar, except [the GU release] is two hours long. You don't need to try and cram everything into one hour. The new one's a little bit darker'and it's also based on a particular set on a particular night in a particular city - instead of a weekly club night.'