I guess with this album I didn’t really have any expectations other than I think B.P.F’s compilation, JP Noir, is one of the best things I have heard and Asian Babylon still gets a spin in the player. So, this comp. didn’t really have anything to live up to.
Artists : V.A. - compiled by Clutch aka Tonio
Title : GEAR
Label : b.p.f.records
Distribution : Wakyo Distribution
1. Tokyo Taxi - CHRIS CARGO
2. Pimp My Babe - LOUNGE CONTROL
3. Ex - MOTION AND CLUTCH
4. Summer Madness - CYPHER DRONE
5. Trust - PLASTICIN PORTERS
6. Half and Half - CLUTCH
7. Mosaik - LA BAAZ
8. Penthouse Rock - TRANCEFELD
Tokyo Taxi - No fade ins. No time to waste. We’re into it. And what a nice popping beat it is. It’s hard to tell where this track is going to go but at the moment, you don’t care because it’s pretty damn fun. The track remains fun and light until the 2:50 point about when it takes a turn, and gets more serious. The beats disappear and it’s replaced by a build up of various percussions. And then we’re back to the fun part. The track is a very enjoyable romp; your head matches your feet which in turn is matching the beat. While the track never breaks any records, it never promises to. Instead, it sets up what I expect will be a great journey.
Pimp My Babe - Carrying on the theme of no introduction, this track bursts onto the scene with this odd rhythm and even more baffling effects. It shouldn’t really work, but somehow it does. And the bass pops in, almost like something you’d hear from a band made up of 14 year old teenagers in the early 90’s. But it’s good. It moves and grooves. It plays more like something you’d hear late morning when the sun is softly touching your face as you are on the dance floor. The build up leaves you at the place and pace you expected. This is a smooth track which does leave you wanting more.
Ex - The introduction to this really is pretty cool. It plays with your ears a little, expecting you to delve in to listen and then giving you too much. Once that is out of the way, it opens up to be quite interesting. The melody is something Kraftwerk would do if they had the chance. The timing of the beats are very addictive, so much so you want it to continue. The soft pads behind this the percussion almost threaten to burst into the foreground and when they finally do, you want more. The mix is pretty well done; there are little moments of melodies that sounds straight out of the heart of the south of the U.S. All in all, a stand out track on the album.
Summer Madness - Summer Madness almost plays like a traditional goa track, in that it builds up with a strong beat, sweeping pads and a bass that always keeps your hips moving. Again, this is one for those sunny mornings with your friends. The track maintains its mood and beat until a beautiful melody comes in and sits down next to the rest of the gang. Here the track opens up and is alive. The colours that this track promotes are sublime. This is definitely a way to get lost in your thoughts. The strongest element of this track is that it the mixing is so crisp that it allows you to experience each sound to its fullest and it is maintained until the end. Perhaps the best track on the album.
Trust - The mood has shifted and a bass is telling us that we should be obeying it’s every beat. It is thick and guides the track. I enjoy the way this track lifts and drops but the sample over the top of it all is distracting, only when it is gone is the track better for it. This track does do a good job in trying to separate itself from the others by playing with samples but it isn’t as unique and as a result is not too memorable.
Half & Half - This is Clutch’s track. And I know that sounds like I’m speaking to a 3-year old but I mean, “This is Clutch’s track”. He puts his signature touch on it by allowing the kick to guide the track into open spaces rather than falling into a trap where he has to rely on it to keep the track moving. A nice rising and dropping of a siren hints at something that is going to be dropped upon us. I like the production of this track; you can focus on 3 different levels and be totally immersed in any of them. At around the 4-minute mark, he does a very cool thing where he stops things. I like these little moments. I’ve picked up on them in his tracks. I guess for myself, these moments are what makes his tracks so memorable.
Mosaik - A track that takes its time getting to the place you want to be at. The percussions aren’t cheesy, but a change at the 1.30 mark is. But it remains true to the other parts of the song. A bass and percussion break up the tunes and it is quite cool, not a totally danceable track as it really changes its mood. One moment it is laid back, and then it’s in your face, and then laid back again. Things pick up at the 3.40 mark where you sense that given some more time we could be doing some serious head bobbing. The melodies play like that of an old commodore 64 game. Nostalgic and classic.
Penthouse Rock - To the final track on this album. An empty sound of drums begin this track and it’s quite classy and cruisy. Really laid back and relaxed. It remains like that, real background music but also plays like something that could lead into an explosive track. A really nice choice of a closer to the album as it basically keeps the mood of the album until the very end.
Overall, this is a cruisy album. I don’t know what I was expecting but I was pretty satisfied with the end result. There were some outstanding tracks and others that were designed to do what they do and they did it. Clutch has done a great job of compiling these artists. A few artists to watch out for in the future, I suspect.
Standout Track - 4
Other Fav(s) – 1, 2, 3, 6, 8