- Seth Troxler's Boogybytes 5 drops into record racks just as Tim Burton's Alice In Wonderland hits cinemas. It's not the most obvious parallel to draw, but Troxler begins his contribution to the series—following in the footsteps of Kiki, Sascha Funke, Modeselektor and BPitch label boss Ellen Allien—with a spoken word intro in which he declares, among other things, that it's "about that white rabbit at the back of our minds."
On paper, there's also been a slight fairytale element to Troxler's path to fame. Here, after all, we have a young boy from Michigan who follows his dreams and a 4/4 beat to Berlin, gatecrashing the tea party and the top ten of Resident Advisor's Top DJs Of 2009 poll, gaining himself a party-hardy reputation as a Mad Hatter in the process.
Boogybytes 5 is no bright and happy Disney version of house and techno, however. It comes instead with the kind of dark undercurrents that Burton imparts into his films. Indeed, the aptly-titled "Fables and Fairytales" from N/A encapsulates Troxler's moodier side with its sinister robotic refrain of "all around me" overlaid with indecipherable voices. It stands roughly midway through a mix which twists and turns like the rabbit hole Alice clambers down, or the streets and clubs into which hedonists throw themselves in search of their own dance floor Wonderland every weekend.
In fact, it all goes distinctly K-hole when Alexi Delano's "Molar One" begins to simmer ominously towards the end, while Troxler's own remix of Fever Ray's "Seven" presents the track through a distorted looking-glass of iridescent synths and pulsing rhythm, Karin Dreijer Andersson sounding like Alice after drinking the potion when she sings "it's distorting my head." It's certainly a change of terrain from the first half, where Troxler sets the scene with the sublime deep house of Craig Smith and The Revenge's "The Soul Part II" and Baeka's Moodymann-indebted bump. But Troxler's grasp of pace makes even the most unlikely twists in his plot seem natural and—even if he ignores the normal advice about happy endings by finishing with Nicolas Jaar's wonderful but morose "Time For Us"—he still leaves you grinning like the Cheshire Cat.
01. Seth Troxler - Intro / Ryan Crosson - Amb 1
02. The Royal We - Party Guilt (Dinky's Arp-A-Pella)
03. Luciano - Fran Left Home / Mike Shannon - Sweet A Pella
04. Craig Smith & The Revenge - The Soul Part II
05. Baeka - Right At It
06. Dinky feat. Update - Westoid
07. N/A feat. Rosina - Fables and Fairytales (Deniz Kurtel Remix)
08. Spektrum - Freakbox (Richie Hawtin's Uncontrolled Edit)
09. Alexi Delano - Molar One
10. Jabberjaw - The Connie Shake
11. Heartthrob - Signs (Thrill Cosby aka Seth Troxler Remix)
12. Birds And Souls - Birds and Souls
13. Roman Flügel - Stricher
14. Fever Ray - Seven (Seth Troxler Remix)
15. Kiki - Cinema Obscura
16. Nicolas Jaar - Time for Us