- Despite being closely associated with the frenzy that has surrounded all things minimal in recent years, Loco Dice's DJing and production style have always carried a rich vein of house sensibility. Even Dice's most stripped down moments—such as his super-sparse Cadenza groover "Raindrops On My Window" or the Minimal Explosion mix—maintain much more of a house influence than his contemporaries. With this in mind, it seems fitting that Dice has hooked up with NRK for The Lab, a compilation which aims to tap into the deeper and more US-influenced side of his musical taste.
Opening up with little more than stirring congas and mechanical hi-hats, the first disc is a dark meditative affair. Driven by a constant undercurrent of bottom end, the mix deftly switches through styles of deep underground music: Punchy breakbeats and vocoder growls (Orbit 1.3's "Second Hand Satellites"), nubile tribal shouts (Chris Lattner's "African Kids"), Latino pianos (Damian Shwartz & Guti's "Salon"), wonky South American rumba (Terrence Dixon's "Below Radar") and hallucinogenic fairground music (Mirko Loco's "Serena") all feature, but are put together in such a way that nothing seems to clash or override. The sleeve notes mention that Dice spent weeks in his apartment sifting through tracks and experimenting with records. It was well spent: the mixing here is highly impressive; the four minute transition from Robert Dietz's "Klondike" to Onur Özer's "Eclipse" has a funky percussive counterpoint that only comes from an intimate knowledge of the records on hand.
The second disc has a warmer vibe and is closer to the kind of sound you would probably expect from a release on NRK. Dice still manages to stamp his personality on the mix, though. Many of the tracks contain stereotypical deep house elements—smooth Rhodes keys, chopped up American vocal moans—but the mix is filled with enough changes in structure, treble-filled glitches and neat production touches to make the chosen records shine. Standout singles include Joseph Malik's "Believe and See," a trippy Amp Fiddler-style track complete with manic stuttering drum patterns and DJ Ali's "You Don't Know," a quintessentially boompty sounding Chicago House cut featuring an almost ad-lib vocal.
As you might expect from someone like Dice, The Lab is of a very high standard, simultaneously showcasing both his own sound and the sound of NRK. And with a gig-filled season in Ibiza and beyond, it further confirms that he'll be one of the must-see acts of the summer.
01. Akiko Kiyama - Hakobi
02. Second-Hand Satellites - Orbit 1.3
03. Chaton - +91 Ahead Session 1.5
04. Chris Lattner - African Children
05. Robert Dietz - Klondike
06. Onur Özer - Eclipse (Loco Dice Remix)
07. Kerri Chandler - Pong (Ben Klock's Bones & Strings Dub)
08. MHM 1 - Bubububadub
09. Ion Ludwig - Transnoir
10. Damian Schwartz & Guti - Sals—n
11. Terrence Dixon - Below Radar (Rhythm Is Rhythm Remix By Mathias Kaden)
12. Someone Else - You Don't Got Me
13. Alex Flatner feat. Lopazz - Perfect Circles (Damian Schwartz Remix)
14. Mirko Loko - Serena
01. Nick Holder - Inside Your Soul (Sirus Remix)
02. Jay Haze - Mama Coca
03. Terry Lee Brown Jr In A Deep Session With The Timewriter - Everyday
04. Loco Dice - Black Truffles in the Snow - (Mike Huckaby's The Jazzed Out S Y N T H Remix)
05. DJ Ali - You Don't Know (Ruff Cut)
06. Alix Alvarez - Boom Bip
07. Joseph Malik - Believe And See (Plastic Avengers RMX)
08. Franck Roger - Take Off (Matt That's House Bonus Beat)
09. 95 North - Forever Underground (Bass Dub)
10. Audio Soul Project - Song For Fred
11. Sascha Dive - Deepest America (Samuel Davis Dark Soul Mix)
12. Daso & Pawas - Det
13. Tyree Cooper - Love