Artist: John Digweed
Title: Renaissance Presents: Transitions
Label: Renaissance Recordings
By: Chloe Harris | 31 May 2006
  1. Partial Arts - Cruising
  2. Every - Feelin'
  3. Popnonname - On The Run
  4. Margot Meets The Melody Maker - Torch (Extrawelt Mix)
  5. Tigerskin - Neontrance
  6. Catwash - Plastic Rubberband
  7. Davis K - Beautiful Dead
  8. Diringer - Flake Escape
  9. Rocco - Roots 4 Acid
  10. Trick & Kubic Feat Valeska - Easy (Niekish & Hermann Dub)
  11. On Spec - Knights Of Columbus
  12. John Digweed - Warung Beach (Lützenkirchen Mix)
  13. Michel De Hey - Jetchi
  14. Dana Bergquist - McEnroe
  15. Paul Kalkbrenner - Gebrünn Gebrünn

John Digweed "Renaissance Presents: Transitions"John Digweed "Renaissance Presents: Transitions"

Out Now on Renaissance Recordings

From his beginnings as a DJ and promoter in Hastings, UK to his legendary nights at Renaissance with Sasha, his Bedrock Empire and beyond, John Digweed has always pushed the boundaries of sound. ‘Transitions’ is not only a club night, but a highly successful weekly show that’s syndicated across the world. It’s also a monthly podcast where John places the spotlight on the work of individual artists or groups, and now the first in a series of compilations. There’s been many changes happening in music and as always, John’s been quick to step in and challenge the old sounds of what we all call “progressive music”. Partnering up with Renaissance once again, he delves into his brilliant record box to unleash a hypnotic mix that travels effortlessly through various genres in a way only this man can. With a flick of a switch, Transitions begins. Winding down into the bubbly bottom end of ‘Crusing’ by Partial Arts, the mix slowly builds into a simple groove. Disco flavoured stabs add a funky feel, but a low electro vibe keeps it deep and Detroit.

The mental vocals from ‘Feelin’ can be heard in the breakdown adding a cool twisted edge to the mix, before overtaking the tune and falling dramatically into wobbly low end. Oliver Lieb’s new project Every, highlights his production skills as well as his compelling vocal work. Sci-fi synths flutter up and down chords, building around a super electronic buzzing that keeps your ears glued, while some mighty distortion plays with the drums. The chopped up vocals are clever and are the highlight here before fading away into the sweet atmospheric synth of ‘On The Run’. Popnonname take the edge off and slow the mix up into a lighter vibe. A head bobbing progressive chug comes along with lovely plucked synths adding depth. At the break a little sound spins and swirls growing into a lush wave of music. Deep and pretty, it builds into a big bassline that prepares you for the ‘Extrawelt Redux Mix’ of ‘Torch’; a fascinating low tune that slithers along its bobbing electro middle. This is for night time driving and this is where the magic in this mix starts to happen. Lush spaced out synths swirl around and carry along the 808 drums, sliding through electronic vocals and clips before Tigerskin’s arpeggiated synth chords and low bottom end swallow it up. ‘Neontrance’ is just that; a trancey plodding tune that grooves heavily and has plenty of effects in the breakdown before pulling you deeper into ‘Plastic Rubberband’, by Catwash.

It’s impossible to tell where John brings in this mix, adding to the overall depth and quality. Spiralling old school synths fade in and out of the tribal like drums before finally winding down into a break that pulses and opens up into another electro groove by newcomer David K. ‘Beautiful Dead’ carries on from Catwash in that you can’t tell when it comes, everything just sounds amazing. Tough slicing sounds work off a slap happy clap and layers of electronic beeps and bubbles before dropping off into a quick break. Swirling acid comes in pulling the tune further along and into an even trancier chugging tune by Dringer. ‘Flake Escape’ is a techy chord stabbing tune with a massive air horn and heavy arpeggiation. A lush sweeping synth slowly fades in as ‘Roots 4 Acid’ by Rocco engulfs the mix taking it down into a driving low end. Sweet orchestral synths layer upon each other building a dramatic wall of sound that dies off into another short break, before building back into the driving bassline and intensity John has been known for. Trick & Kubic drop in and lower the groove to a deeper chug. Backward delaying chords stretch across the techy drums while low electro bubbles hide with acid in the background. The ‘Easy’ vocals of Valeska climb in talking seductively, but looping away and funking it all up into a shrieking sound.

John lightens the mix up with ‘Knights Of Columbus’, by On Spec; a massive indiesque tune with roaring bagpipe sounding synths and wobbly fuzzy bass. This is a dramatic tune that sets the pace perfectly for John’s own production, ‘Warung Beach’. Lutzenkirchen remixes his song into a beastly affair of electro wiggles, squishy sounds, and gated synths that pounce along the beats. The rubbery texture of it all makes it feel like an analog bubble ready to burst. ‘Jetchi’ by Michel De Hey steps up the trance again with old school twinkly synths that soar above head and rage along the techno inspired rhythm section. One of John’s biggest tunes of this year makes an appearance in the mix, Dana Berquist’s ‘McEnroe’. With its charging bottom end and trancey lead stabs, light vocal bits, sparkling arps, farty bass and break beats a plenty, the mix finally winds down and chills out towards the end. Paul Kalkbrenner’s ‘Gebrunn Gebrunn’ marches in slowly with its heavy stabs, techy drums and strange but curious vocal. It’s a dreamy but surreal ending to a dramatic and intense compilation.

‘Transitions’ is a stellar mix that really defines John as a DJ. The tremendous builds he’s known for in his live shows have been brought to us in a short 78 minute mix. This is nothing short of brilliant. If Sasha has his magic, John has his ability to create a void of sound, one that many now dub “the vortex” and this album shows the listener exactly what he is known best for.

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