Soma Records celebrate their 21st anniversary with a first mix compilation from Gary Beck of highlights from the last 12 months. Beck saw his debut techno album released on the label in 2012, and now bring tunes by producers such as DeepChord, Funk D’Void, Scott Grooves, Ricardo Villalobos and Alex Under together for a blend of classy electronic music.
A soft, welcoming Soma groove kicks off thanks to DeepChord’s “Tonality of Night” with its lush, smooth synths and cushioned, rounded beats. The mood continues with Ambivalent of M_NUS remixing Joe Stawars’ “M17” with all the hallmarks of the minimalist techno label. He gets more direct with the mechanical clicking of Heiko Laux & Steve Rachmad’s “The Viking” leading into Claude VonStroke’s remix of Scott Groove’s much-loved “Mothership Connection” which is all looping snapshots of a vocal with the Dirtybird head honcho laying down an infectious house bassline.
Choice Soma selections to be enjoyed like a live DJ set rather than just a lifeless best of collection.
Beck goes funky with Mark Henning “You’re Digging Into Me” which is a cheeky number that lures you in with its deep riff then pulls out a sneaky disco flutter before moving back into the full-on techno thanks to Pig & Dan and Mark Reeve collaboration “Origami” and another Reeve track “Dice” that continues in the stripped-back style. Beck’s own tune “Algoreal” has a trance feel to it heading into micro house master Alex Under’s “Addendum” which bridges into Funk D’Void’s “Diabla”, suitably edited by Christian Smith and Whehbba as a Final Track of the Night with its easing down of pace and dispersal of sound.
But it isn’t the end. Beck throws in the percussive “Right On, Right On” by Silicone Soul remixed by Matthias Tanzmann and, finally, Ricardo Villalobos’ interpretation of Envoy’s “Seawall” to wind down from the energetic 4/4 with a chilled close. The diverse electronic tunes present Soma as having a rich range of sounds and Beck’s informed mixing ensures these a choice selections to be enjoyed like a live DJ set rather than just a lifeless best of collection.