Various Artists / hafendisko Nummer Eins
Since its conception three years ago, the Hamburg based label hafendisko has been patiently building its reputation with a diverse and varied artist roster. Alongside releases from emerging talent such as Deo & Z-Man and Brynjolfur, it forms parent label hfn music's outlet for club oriented music whether with full releases or remixes for artists such as Kasper Bjørke and Faded Ranger and just recently welcomed renowned remixers such as Michael Mayer, Charles Webster and Luke Solomon, to name a few.
Now with the release of Nummer Eins, hafendisko is taking the next step in its evolution, serving up the best of past and present releases together with a string of exclusive cuts that signal an undeniably bright future. It's machine music with real heart and soul as, time and again, the tracks locate that elusive sweet spot that unifies mind and body. The opening act replicates the highly collectable four track vinyl EP that preceded the digital release.
Snacks' 'Easy' provides an aptly titled intro, with sweet melodies, warm synth swells and looping vocal hooks evolving over a low slung, funk inflected groove. 'Purdie', the duo's debut last September instantly became a huge underground hit, while they are currently working on their debut album. Next up, the mysterious 'Penelope' leads us into the darker corners of disco as Deo & Z-Man unleash a flurry of dusty tribal rhythms, lo-fi piano stabs and twisted analogue circuitry. With their debut album 'No Bullshit' under their belts the brothers just released the 'No Bullshit Remix EP' (and album) with mixes by Arttu, SLG, Julius Steinhoff. Alex Dimou, Marc Schneider and many more.
Unkwon is Anders Dixen from Copenhagen and people will stop asking if it's a typo soon. Just off his stunning remix for Trentemøller's 'Deceive' he takes it underground with the stuttering beats and melancholy phase of 'Everything', building a cavernous yet claustrophobic soundscape that's designed to make your eyeballs sweat, before Ewan Pearson's NRG instrumental of Kasper Bjørke's 'Apart' goes into dance floor overdrive, upping the ante again. Both the Michael Mayer and the Ewan Pearson mixes of Bjørke's final single off his newest album stirred a buzz. Pushing on, Simon Hinter's 'Easyweezy’ offers up more late night bliss as expressive bass lines intertwine with soulful chords and soothing chimes against a backdrop of sparse broken beats.
Simon Hinter aka Mr. Backside already released a string of EPs on Philogresz's label. Scissor and Thread's Francis Harris then enters the fray with a trademark reduced groove. 'In Case You Love' unfurls with introspective beauty, revealing a sublime, muted cello that skirts the borders of the waking mind. Harris perfectly rounds up a great year that saw the release of his second album 'Minutes Of Sleep', which scored #7 of Resident Advisor's albums of the year, as well as the debut album 'You Go Girl' by the Frank & Tony project that Harris runs with labelmate Anthony Collins and which achieved top ranks in the yearly listings across the board (Fact, iTunes and many more).
Leipzig based newcomer Panthera Krause drags us back out of the shadows and into swathes of neon light with the sharp angles and shimmering rhythms of 'Oblisk' and there are also welcome inclusions for the elegantly constructed SLG remix of Universal Neighbours and Brynjolfur's classy dub mix of 'The Save'. After his EPs on Eskimo and his remix for Kasper Bjørke's 'Rush', 'The Save' is already his second EP on hafendisko. Next up is Yannick Labbé, one half of the brilliant Trickski duo who now focusses on his solo career. His 'Sugar Coated Insult' patiently builds into another well crafted slab of synth laden bliss and like everything else on offer here, it's deep, electronic dance music at its uncomplicated best.
Labbé will drop his next solo outing on hafendisko in spring 2015. Into the final stretch and Arsy (Grundlos Glücklich, Liebe*Detail) drops some retro warehouse nostalgia on 'La Structure Dramatique', with loose beats and edgy chord progressions drawing you in before the acid takes control. Vincenzo's stripped down remix for Faded Ranger's 'Be On The Lookout' continues the after hour theme before Jimmy Edgar's warm electro rework of Tiger Fingers' 'Little Drummer Girl' and 'Ddisco' from Lightbluemover highlight the enduring quality of the label's early releases. Finally, newcomer 99 Blows provides a fitting epilogue to the compilation in the form of 'Slow Burning'.
It's yet another slice of deep, dark analogue disco that revisits the recurring motifs and vibes that have featured heavily throughout this mesmerising journey.