James Zabiela - Life

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  • In our experience, CDs distributed free in clubs rarely actually make it into the stereo; usually ending up as beermats at the afterparty if they haven't been lost in the taxi en route. And, given the quality of some of the shiny discs we've had pressed into our hands, that's often the best thing for them. James Zabiela's second Masters mix for Renaissance, which he will be giving away at his gigs as well as selling online and in the shops, is one worth saving from such a fate. Anyone expecting something to keep the party going when they get back home is in for a surprise though. Whereas last year's edition was split into one more experimental disc and a clubbier tech-house proposition, for the follow-up Zabiela takes a more circuitous route towards the dance floor, with the two CDs structured as one long flowing set. Like his first Masters mix, Life also contains field recordings Zabiela has taped around the world, this time also featuring spoken word interludes from Joel Einhorn, who makes po-faced pronouncements about "life being a gift" and so forth. The concept that this is somehow a soundtrack to a touring DJ's life is somewhat daft. (If that was honestly the case, it would be full of samples of promoters explaining why they can't pay yet, announcements of planes being delayed and conversations with room service at 5 AM.) But as a thoughtfully mixed and immaculately programmed trip into the deeper sides of Zabiela's house and breakbeat, Life is an interesting diversion. The first disc lures you in with the enveloping slo-mo electronica of Pedram and Nosaj Thing before Reason Or Romanza and Ruxpin's teeming IDM rhythms eventually lead us into Boys Noize's "Heart Attack"ïa track ironically far more sedate than Alexander Ridha's usual coronary-inducing electro assaults. Things pick up tempo-wise with the second disc, Zabiela's own remix of Siopis' "Really Love Ya" providing the mix's first real 4/4 propulsion, before things take an even more pumping turn with Gui Boratto's "I Feel Love," as remixed by Robert Babicz. It's still definitely one for armchair ravers though, who are unlikely to be roused to the vertical by the simmering ERP remix of Hardfloor's "The Life We Chose," and though Glimpse and Jay Sheapard's "Colours" brings to mind Gat D cor's hands-in-the-air classic "Passion," you're still reaching for a cuppa rather than the ceiling. But from this horizontal position Life can be a beautiful thing to behold. If you didn't go to a club to get a copy in the first place, you might just decide to spend your night in with it instead.
  • Tracklist
      CD 1 - A Life Less Ordinary 01. Lusine - Operation Costs 02. Pedram - Lost In Trans 03. Nosaj Thing - Us 04. Nosaj Thing - Fog Pedestrians 05. James Zabiela - Burnt Bridges 06. R3volve - Bootpacker Alpha 07. Mondkopf - Libera Me Change Machine - Everything Slows Down 08. ASC - Porcelain 09. Reason Or Romanza - Radiance Trigger (Recue Remix) 10. Ruxpin - A Sunrise (And They Turned To Stones) False Dream 11. Herman - Change Of Mind [James Zabiela Re-Arrange] Romanian Pilot 12. Moderat - Out Of Sight 13. Peter Benisch - Skymning Market Chatter 14. Boys Noize - Heart Attack Clapping And Drummin In Defensa 15. Ellen Allien & Apparat - Do Not Break 16. Ruxpin - I Saw Her Standing There CD 2 - Afterlife 01. Sally Shapiro - Swimming Through The Blue Lagoon 02. Vince Watson - Long Way From Home 03. Siopis - Really Love Ya [James Zabiela Re-Arrange] 04. D-Pulse - New Poetry (Unreleased Version) Transformation 05. Phil Kieran - Never Ending Mountain (James Zabiela Re-Arrange) 06. Gui Boratto - I Feel Love (Robert Babicz Earth Remix) 07. James Zabiela - Blame (Masters Version) 08. Dusty Kid - Amazon 09. Jori Hulkkonen - I Am Dead (Guy J Remix) 10. Hardfloor - The Life We Chose (E.R.P. Remix) 11. Spooky - No Return (Josh Wink Acid Vocal Remix [Additional Vocal Edit] 12. Kaito - We Are Living Here 13. Glimpse & Jay Shepheard - Colours (Jay Shepheard Dub) 14. Siriusmo - Nights Off