Various Artists - 5zig

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  • Freude am Tanzen has put out plenty of records by a healthy number of good artists (Douglas Greed, DJ Koze and Onur Özer among them), but it's best known as being the home away from home of the Wighnomy Brothers, together and apart. That's not a small thing, but it's also true that apart from Robag Wruhme (whether as Rolf Oksen or Themroc or just himself) and Monkey Maffia, and sometimes with them, the label itself doesn't tend to make the spotlight its home. Freude am Tanzen is variable like any label is, but there's a steady-state quality to its work that tends to fade a bit when proffered piece by piece. Conversely, that's just the quality that tends to make for a good compilation—condense it down and you've got a statement. 5zig, Freude am Tanzen's newest collection, isn't a masterpiece or anything, but it is one of those multi-artist discs that move as one thing, with one purpose—a patchwork that plays like an album. Robag Wruhme and Monkey Maffia each appear, of course—the former with the patiently bubbling heroin-house-gone-slightly-pop of "Crucial Ligament Dub," the latter with "Halfbottle," whose slow-warp synths, chinging percussion and whapping little breakbeat make it sound like something from an art-jungle comp circa 1997. But it's material, not personnel per se, that make 5zig hum. It's more songful than you might expect, and that helps give the proceedings some heft—Dehlia de France's tense vocal on Douglas Greed's low-key, soundtrack-ish "Back Room Deal" is a good example. The other plus here is the exceptionally good sequencing. "Back Room Deal" glides effortlessly into Marek Hemmann's lower-key but tonally similar "Pictures." "Halfbottle" is 5zig's natural climax, with Juno6's cooled-down, Coke-bottle-percussive "Guununk" as its obvious coda: slurry, space-inclined synths that loll and stretch over a muted version of the Hall & Oates, "I Can't Go for That" beat pattern. The one stumble comes at the finish with the deliberate comedown of No Accident in Paradise's "Exit9," whose spoken Bill Drummond sample ("Imagine waking up tomorrow morning and all music has disappeared—all musical instruments and all forms of recorded music: gone") sounds a little cloying after the relative modesty of all that preceded it. You take your chances with comps.
  • Tracklist
      01. Kadebostan - Mother Cries  02. Monkey Maffia - Cruciate Ligament Dub 03. Taron Trekka - Noo Sun 04. Douglas Greed feat. Delhia de France - Back Room Deal 05. Marek Hemmann feat. Fabian Reichelt - Pictures 06. Mathias Kaden - Red Walls 07. Krause Duo - Drunkie Skunkie 08. Daniel Stefanik - Tension in Leipzig 09. Kadebostan - Mon Petit Soleil d’Algérie 10. Robag Wruhme - Haftbolle  11. Juno6 - Guununk  12. No Accident in Paradise - Exit9