- The ultimate testament to what Nick Curly has achieved in the past year was heard in minimal techno bastion Cocoon Ibiza on opening night. All you could hear, from room to room, was a certain type of house music. I hesitate to describe it as the "Mannheim Sound," because most of its main protagonists will tell you they're pushing a sound that has always been there, but that's basically what it was. From Cassy to the darker, dirtier Amnesia Main Room through to Uncle Sven himself, the productions of Cécille, 8bit and their artists resonated to the energetic dancing feet of the 5,000 "cocooners."
On the back of a genuine breakthrough in 2008, 8bit Reasons Part One is Curly's first compilation and represents the thought, feeling and sound of everything that goes into his productions and live performances. The first half of such mixes typically reveals much more about the artist's lesser known tastes and, accordingly, Curly cuts deep into the soul early on, with swathing percussive basslines and late night jackin' grooves at a distinctly mellow pace. There is a rich flavour, ranging from the jagged beats of "World Clock" and funky house samples of "Rainy Dayz" that lead into the tribal haze of "Melange" and the industrial tech of "Makayuni."
But as the mix gathers momentum and begins to resemble Nick Curly in club mode, "that" groove, which has become the trademark of his quick-selling productions, takes centre stage and dominates the soundtrack. Its simplicity—4/4 beats and repetitive, funky, soulful, workin' music that takes you straight to the centre of the floor—appeals. There's no pretension or failed attempts at something too clever or too out-there; it's just music for the club, music for dancing. On that basis, you can understand the inclusion of "La Palma," "Sliding Away" and "Sweep the Floor," given that they have been championed by Curly in his increasingly grueling tour schedule.
The gigs, the productions, the hype about the whole Mannheim thing; however you choose to look at it, this compilation has been put to the ultimate test in terms of crowd reaction and record sales. So, allowing for a bit of self-promotion—it is an 8bit compilation after all—it perfectly epitomises what continues to be the popular sound in the post-minimal scene. It will be interesting to see where we stand by the time Part Two is released.
01. Markus Fix - World Clock
02. Oleg Poliacov - Rainy Dayz
03. Veitengruber - Bon Melange (Liapin & Eduard Hartter Remix)
04. Gorge & Andre Hommen - Hakunyo
05. Johnny D - Scope of Mind
06. Alex Niggemann - Makayuni
07. Till Von Sein - Ovas (Catz N Dogz Remix)
08. Ethyl & Huxley - Oyzantine
09. Alex Celler - La Palma
10. Nick Curly - Akon
11. Joris Voorn - Sweep the Floor
12. 2020 Soundsystem - Sliding Away (Johnny D Vocal Mix)
13. Nima Gorji - Keep On Getting Down
14. Matthias Meyer & Patlac - Salt City (Nick Curly Remix)
15. Spencer Parker & Diesel Co - Lab Ep (Nick Curly Remix)