Just in time for Christmas, a gift from Desolat, comes the annual X-Sampler. This year’s installment features old and new faces alike offering everything from stripped down minimal to bouncing, caribbean-percussive tech. The collection works like a set — taking you on a journey through genres, BPMs and vibes.
The intro by Hector and Alexkid, “Ontra”, eases listeners in with a relaxed, yet gripping, house track. The song moves along with subtle bells and hats and a stabbing bass line. The tempo speeds up with long-time Desolat producer Danny Ocean’s “Backstage”, where the BPM spikes and the groovy percussion is initially introduced. “Backstage” gives both feelings of latin-infused tech house with chic, dark techno –- a definite dance-floor mover.
The meat of the release comes in the next two tracks by Funk E and Filsonik. First up on “Goostep”, Funk E takes an electro-hip house approach with a deep bass line and open hats– all complemented periodically by the spacey synths that seem to be the unintentional theme of the compilation. Filsonik goes full-on banging Chicago house with “Tamur”. A six-minute and 45-second audible pounding, of which only about 30 seconds go without the rolling, driving bassline. Tambourines shaking, white noise ushering breaks in and out, and relentless, undisturbed percussion — it was exactly what I was looking for. Definitely the standout track for me.
The artists I expected to bring the pain actually end up contributing more complex and deep sounds. Reboot goes full on minimal with “Daddy”. For almost 15 minutes the vibe gets pretty dark. The song dredges along for the first five minutes while, in true Reboot fashion, he applies elements slowly and painfully all leading up to a frenzy of filtered voices, synth and a pretty solid bassline. Desolat co-founder Martin Buttrich teams up with one of the hottest commodities in house music today, Davide Squillace, on “Mishima”. A subtle compromise between Buttrich’s dark techno and Squillace’s house sounds with gears and sprockets turning and grinding in the background while kicks and vocals swim in the bassline.
Arguably one of the hottest producers of the year, Guti, follows suit and brings a new sound as well. “Option One” with Anthea’s soulful voice complimenting that groovy bass line and seducing you into a lengthy break before dropping you right back into the thick of the beat. Another cunning production from one of the smartest producers out today.
This year’s X-Sampler, slated for a December 5th vinyl release and December 12th digital release, is a testament to Desolat’s ability to blend both and adaptation of today’s sound with a driving motivation to determine tomorrow’s. With contributions from label boss, long time members and fresh faces — all seemingly stepping out of their comfort zones — the label shows that it’s willing to evolve without compromising its original direction.
A few artists featured on the compilation took the time to share their favorite moments working with the German imprint with mybeatFix:
“I think it’s safe to say for me that my best experience with Desolat was when I met everyone who works with Desolat this summer in Düsseldorf, Germany, at a BBQ. That day, Loco Dice played the track I produced, “Tamur”, for the first time for the Desolat artists to hear, as well as the rest of the party. Everyone got a sneak preview of what was to become a future Desolat release.”
“The song “Goostep” came in Ibiza after a Cocoon party on the morning of a Tuesday. I remember that I had quite fun at Cocoon, so the inspiration was there, floating, when I started to put the sounds together. The name of the song came because of the beats -– you feel like there’s a goose walking around. Then I knew Dice through Livio & Roby, friends who already had several releases on Desolat, and I had his e-mail so I sent the song. A few days after that, he emailed me back and told me that if “Goostep” is free, it could be a Desolat release. And here it is!”
– Funk E
“Many moments. Many records. It’s so good to be part of Desolat cause you get to see how music moves and your friends grow in different directions. We have been together for a long time now, with countless nights and mornings together. My favorite moment is the excitement of every new record, the things that happen around the releases and to check my friends’ new music. They are always moving on and always pushing the things forward. My album was a big moment for me, but I also remember myself super excited with Martin and tINI´s album, Dice´s singles and every record of Livio & Roby. We do our thing and everybody is very talented. I really like these samplers when you get different songs from the different artists, and I am happy to be part of it for the third time and really thankful to have Anthea´s beautiful voice for this song.”
“My favorite moment is present day, working with Guti & Nico (new artist Fosky) in their home in Düsseldorf and having Livio & Roby pop round and jam with us. I’m friends with many of the Desolat family and I’m always inspired by the individuals that make Desolat what it is. It’s a family that seems to be getting deeper roots here in Düsseldorf! Good times ahead!”
“Desolat is the best thing I’ve done with my music life! I met Dice at the famous closure of Amnesia Ibiza and I give him my promo (“Lights In My Dark World”). I thought that he would never respond, so it was a big surprise when he called me and told me the amazing news! I feel like a part of Desolat because my tracks were a few of the first released on this label, and I always make music thinking about Desolat. Now I have my new track on X Sampler 2011: “Back Stage”. Hope you like it!”
– Danny Ocean