Balance 005 mixed by James Holden

Australian based label EQ, has already delivered 4 class mix CD's for the Balance series, from producers like Sean Quinn, Kasey Taylor, Bill Hamel and Phil K, the last one (Balance 004 compiled and mixed by Phil K) being nominated for Best mix compilation in Australian Dance Music Awards 2003. James Holden's reputation as a producer is first class. He has produced consistently beautiful and futuristic tracks and equally stunning remixes, which are always a mainstay of the major league dj's sets. Renowned for his unique productions and remixes, offers the balance series this assorted mix of house, techno and prog sounds, combining sweet melodies with ambient instants, creating lots of excitement and getting everyone speaking about it.

CD 1 opens with 'The Difference It Makes' track of 'The MFA'', a start full of energy and a nice groove which will surely impress you with its melodic progressive house feel and quality vocals. Following, Meta.83''s 'Metalgroove ep:Antrieb', Jake Fairley''s 'Oshawa' and 'Tool 1' by Zeta Reticula' changes the uplifting start into more a deeper and darker house style with some bouncy sounds and a techy and intimidating baseline. Swedish young producer Petter, discovered by James Holden himself who is present on the compilation with three tracks, follows the techno style with his piece of work, 'All Together'.
'Bad Friday' by Baby Ford & The Ifach Collective and 'Tool 3' by Zeta Reticula are slowing down a bit the rhythm, though continuing with a solid pounding of electro beats and grooves, two short cuts of strange sounds that drift into the tech house tracks 'Real' by Avus.

Breaking down the darkness is DJ ESP's 'No Future', that has a funky groove and bassline, compounded together perfectly with the beautiful vocals of Claire Skies from 'Do What You Want'. Infusion provides an absolute impressive remix of Jase From Outta Space's track, lightning the mood with a thrilling passion of sound vocals. These has to be one of the highlights of this compilation! Up next is the new track from newcomer Nathan Fake, 'Outhouse', with different two mixes, the ambient melodic 'Fluffy Mix' with its wonderful harmonies and the 'Original mix' with nice thumping beats of progressive. 'Outhouse' is also the second release on 'Border Community' , the label ruled by Holden himslef, out in November. 'Fortune Telling Fish, Curled to Suggest 'Home'' is a brief ambient break out of delayed vocals and sparkling sounds emerging in the form of FortDax carrying us to the next track, the massive remix by Luke Chable of PQM – 'You Are Sleeping'. This track is already very popular being out there for some time now in different mixes. Petter returns with his second track, 'These Days' , a song with great moving melodies and a liquid bass that turns into melancholy, together with 'Bad Friday' and the final Hermann & Kleine's break beats track, which ends the disc in a fine, interesting manner.

CD 2 starts up with the threatening electro sound and dynamic bassline of Meek's 'Happy', moving and electrifying you with its seductive vocals. Then the next tracks are carrying on the same pulse, painting your ears with the 'Colours' of Meerkat, fading away into the latin spaced funky dip of 'Your Body' by Avus, quickly followed by 'PFX Tokyo'. The dazzling Kosmas Epsilon Mix of FC Kahuna's 'Hayling' is right in time, speeding up a little with some driving beats and wide guitar licks, preparing us for Holden's latest production 'The Wheel (Pass 1)'. A quite remarkable piece of work having the same odd drums like the previous 'A Break In The Clouds', even more acid, this time James adding a techno touch to his work. Continuing is Kotai & Mo's, covering the ripeness at the end of Holden's track with its 'Black Acid pt. 1'. A trancy uplifting sound follows up, 'Epsilon 9 – Lifeformation (Infernal Machine Mix)' , probably one of Nic Vegter's best tracks ever, having a true futuristic synth line. Then the breaks of the 'Ghetto Server', by Carl A. Finlow are pushing in the tempo and the beat starts juggling. Next is the melodic cloudy 'Forme' by Gill Norris, which takes you into a magical journey together with the mesmerizing 'Eli' by Ficta. The chilled breaks of Petter's 'Tonediary' are taking over like a spell with its peaceful tones and then we found ourselves in 'Wonderland', with Form & Function, keeping the atmosphere optimistic, leading into the melancholic 'End Titles' from Meta.83, a dreamy final which completes the euphoric trip.

James Holden is definitely one of the artists to watch in the future, his inimitable style has a large following the world-over, and this eclectic mix proves it once more, being one of the biggest progressive compilations of the year, a definitive guide line for every clubber, listener and music connoisseur.

Tracklisting:

CD 1
01. The MFA – The Difference It Makes (Original Mix)
02. Meta.83 – Metalgroove ep:Antrieb
03. Jake Fairley – Oshawa
04. Zeta Reticula – Tool 1
05. Petter – All Together
06. Baby Ford & The Ifach Collective – Bad Friday
07. Zeta Reticula – Tool 3
08. Avus – Real
09. DJ ESP – No Future ep:No Future (Soundburnt mix)
10. Jase From Outta Space featuring Claire – Do What You Want (Infusion's Sky mix)
11. Nathan Fake – Outhouse (Fluffy mix)
12. Nathan Fake – Outhouse (Original Mix)
13. FortDax – Fortune Telling Fish, Curled to Suggest 'Home'
14. PQM – You Are Sleeping (PQM meets Luke Chable Vocal pass)
15. Petter – These Days (Instrumental)**
16. Herrmann & Klein – Leaving You Behind (Without Knowing Where To Go)
** Includes Beats of Baby Ford & The Ifach Collective – Bad Friday

CD 2
01. Meek – Happy
02. Meerkat – Colours (JH re-edit)
03. Avus – Your Body (Original Mix)
04. Scape One – PFX Tokyo
05. FC Kahuna – Hayling (Kosmas Epilson mix)
06. Holden – The Wheel (Pass 1)
07. Kotai + Mo – Black Acid pt 1
08. Epsilon 9 – Lifeformation (Infimal Machine mix)
09. Carl A Finlow – Ghetto Server
10. Gill Norris – Forme
11. Ficta – Eli
12. Petter – Tonediary
13. Form & Function – Wonderland (Original Mix)
14. Meta.83 – Metalgroove ep:End Titles

"James Holden is the man!" – Sasha

Balance 005 mixed by James Holden
VERDICT
4.5

LABEL

EQ

CATALOG NO

EQGCD008

RELEASE DATE

6 October 2003

PUBLISHED

November 3, 2003 at 9:16 AM CET

WORDS

Andrei Rusu

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