Artist: Nick Warren
Title: Global Underground: 035 - Lima
Label: Global Underground
By: Antonella Sirec | 9 October 2008
  1. Paul Rogers - Lima Luna (Intro)
  2. Nils Nurnberg - Seduction
  3. Kruse & Nurnberg - An Why E
  4. Jarius Miller - Botnet
  5. Babak Shayan - One In A Million
  6. Ormatie - Twisted Turns
  7. Glide - Cassini
  8. Victoria R - Beauty Goes Blind
  9. Petersky - Kurs Zjazdowy
  10. Michael Burns Presents Panoptic - Surface
  11. Yura Popov - Help
  12. Stan Kolev - Soma Funk (Yvel & Tristan Mix)
  13. Astrid Suryanto - Distant Bar (16 bit Lolitas Mix)

Nick Warren "Global Underground: 035 - Lima"Nick Warren "Global Underground: 035 - Lima"

Out Now on Global Underground

One man who is tuly a legend in dance music is Nick Warren. Having developed a career that spans nearly twenty years, his talents as a DJ and producer have seen him travel to all corners of the world on many occasion while admired by both professionals and fans alike. At the same time, his involvement in Way Out West alongside Jody Wisternoff has helped to create some of dance music’s most definitive tunes that have stood the test of time. With seven instalments for Global Underground’s main series already under his belt, Nick Warren returns to the GU fold with his eighth release in the form of Global Underground: 035 Lima.

The first part of GU035 Lima begins with the shimmering chords of Paul Rogers' “Lima Luna (Intro)”. While almost angelic in feel, it engages the listener immediately. Quickly following on is Nils Nürnberg's “Seduction” with its chugging bass and spacey effects. Things take a tactical uptempo swing with the introduction of “An Why E” by Kruse & Nürnberg. With this particular tune, a hint of deeper vibes becomes apparent and you get a sense of where things are headed.

One of the many highlights in the overall sound of GU035 is found in the next track, “Botnet”, by the talented Jairus Miller. If ever there was a fusion of progressive and deep house, this tune represents it successfully. With its lush undertones and captivating beat, the overlying melody is the perfect counter balance. I can only imagine how this would sound on a crystal clear sound system. Transitioning the feel of the mix to a more progressive sound is Babak Shayan's “One In A Million” with its epic feel and the almost Arabic swirls of its main melodic section. This is, in my opinion, one highlight of the mix and yet another focal point in its interesting sounds.

Following on perfectly is relative unknown producer Ormatie with his yet unsigned “Twisted Turns”. This is a real gem on this compilation as while having a solid nod in favour of the deeper sound of house, it has the ability to fit into any type of genre particularly progressive house which is heard primarily through its shimmering chord sequence. Continuing on again with those deeper vibes is Glide’s “Cassini” which maintains the tempo at a certain pace which has already been developed. The mix then progresses onto Victoria R’s “Beauty Goes Blind” in an almost sublime manner. The inherent melody and perpetuating build serves to only heighten the tension in various parts of this tune. As such, it’s the perfect platform for the upcoming track which is Petersky’s “Kurs Zjazdowy”. This particular track can only be described as both hypnotic and epic in sound. If the beats don’t draw you in, the hovering melodic riff surely will. For me, this is definitely a highlight of CD1 as everything prior to this builds perfectly towards this track.

Up next are the melodic grooves of "Surface" by Michael Burns in his Panoptic guise. Released in 2003 and regarded by many as an instant classic, it fits perfectly in this part GU035 with its lush sounds and atmospheric chords. To this day, it still sounds as fresh as it did when it was first released. The mix takes another slight deep turn in feel with Yura Popov’s bass heavy ‘Help’. While the overall melodic feel of the mix is still present in this track, it has a much warmer feel to it than its predecessors.

Keeping things on a continually deeper perspective is the brilliant Yvel & Tristan Remix of "Soma Funk" by Stan Kolev. The dubby feel to this track and the hovering riff that warbles in the distant is truly sublime. Closing this part of the release is the 16 Bit Lolitas Mix of Astrid Suryanto’s "Distant Bar". While the tempo has taken a slight upturn with this track, the warmth of the previous track is continued in feel while adding yet another melodic feel with the piano riff that’s heard throughout. This is a stunning way to end the first part of this compilation.

‘Wow!’ That’s the reaction that first came to my mind and continues to do so. While I realise the underlying pun in the particular use of that description, in this case, it’s the most feasible. With each track introduced and another layer of sound brought in, the most obvious theme throughout this particular mix is an emphasis on melody. Coupled with hints of the deeper side of progressive house and an abundance of uplifting dance floor orientated beats, the first part of GU035 will have you hooked from the get go. As such, I could only imagine what the second part was like.

Opening the second half GU035 is the bouncy "Long Beach" by Alex Dolby, which quite literally sucks you in immediately. This track has such an infectious groove that you'll quickly find yourself either nodding your head or tapping your toes without even realising it. Guiding things onto a slightly stripped back feel in sound is Etiket's “Revelation”. While still maintaining the groove and melodic aspect from the previous track, this manages to shift focus in sound for this part of the compilation. This shift is even more prevelant with the upcoming “Panama” by Yvel & Tristan featuring Chriss Of The Quasar. What a tune! The intertwining of the synth lead and vocal sample hovers over a haunting riff which draws the listener in like a drug.

Coming in almost surruptiously is Bypass FX's “I Am Trying”. With its chugging bass throughout, there's a real sense of earthiness about this track that also builds in tempo throughout its duration. It's at this point, on the first listen, that I wondered where this mix would actually go in terms of structure. Where it went is straight into “Moloko Plus” by Richard Gale. This is 3am darkness for me and the point in which my neighbour nearly called the police to complain about the noise because I'd cranked this track so hard on my speakers that he could feel our mutual wall vibrate. It's all about the bump and grind of the beat and the very subtle nod to Universal Nation's classic “Push” that makes this track a complete success in this mix.

Somnus Corporation's “Expo 86” follows on and snaps things back to reality quicksmart as it continues on the melodic aspect of the compilation while the atmospheric synths in the background and the minute “Bladerunner” segment help to keep things on that heaving 3am aspect. Continuing on with that theme is Thomas Sagstad's “Castillian”, which now introduces a Spanish flavour to the mix with a guitar riff that's woven around a now uplifting melody. The very bouncy “Siberian Transit” by Martin Brodin glides into the mix next, which builds and drops in all the right places and then moves nicely into the Leama & James Davis' 'Grafiti' mix of “Sinner” by The Steals Vs Grafiti. This is such a class tune. Its sweeping atmospheric chords and an almost washed out vocal gives it an ethereal feel and helped me lose myself in this track.

The urgent beats of the Robert Babicz Remix of Way Out West's “Spaceman” come in next and once again makes me think of that peaktime feel that I've been discovering throughout this part of GU035. There's a certain darkness I've sensed throughout this mix which was never overt but continues with this particular version. As we near the end, “Before The Wind” by Analog People In A Digital World comes into the mix which has an almost shimmering melody weaving throughout its duration while still keeping the listener hooked with its dance induced beats. Closing off the mix on a grinding but dark tip is ‘Bosworth’ by Perc. If ever there was a great way to finish a mix, this is the track. Perfect!

Where the first part of this compilation was a fusion of uplifting yet deep layers, the second part retains the strong melodic aspects but heads towards a slightly darker path. CD2 typifies everything I’d like to hear in a club at 3am where the music has stopped being sweet and innocent and now taken on an almost grinding feel. Make no mistake this is progressive house but it’s certainly not the wishy washy breezy variety that has often been produced and quickly forgotten. For me, this particular part of GU035 creates images of the small, dark clubs I used to frequent a few years back where the walls were literally covered in sweat and the music matched the energy and atmosphere. But it’s not all about the depths of depravity because while that ‘darkness’ may be the underlying feel of this part of the compilation, it’s not overt and the mix is balanced out with a lot of beautiful melodies.

In a nutshell, Nick Warren's GU035 Lima is superb. Ridiculously so! From the very first track on CD1 until the last bar on CD2, I was hooked and so much so that I've had to force myself to stop playing it on repeat on a number of occasions. In fact, it’s a pity this doesn’t have a third part as I’m sure I would have happily lost my mind in the direction set by CD2. To be honest, I've not been a fan of Nick Warren's previous two GU instalments as I felt they were both bland at best. At the same time, in my view, the label chose a more 'miss' then 'hit' direction in relation to its choices of contributors to its main series. So when discovering that Nick Warren was given yet another instalment for the main series, I was one of those that groaned in frustration and literally screamed blue murder. What could he possibly have to offer that he hasn't done already? How could this be any different to his last two efforts?

Well, I was wrong.

GU035 Lima is Nick Warren at his best. For me, this is even better then his GU024 Reykjavik which I thought was impeccable for many years. The overall sound is on the deeper side of progressive house while at the same time dragging the listener onto a heaving dance floor which just refuses to let go. This is a proper example of what a club mix should sound like across a two CD platform. This will make you dance! This will make you wish you were in your favourite club with your best friend. More then anything, this will have you jumping up on your sofa, annoying your neighbours because you're playing this compilation that loudly. But you know what? You won't care!

From a technical perspective, the transitions from track to track are so smooth that in many parts they're flawless. Further more, there isn’t one tune on this release that I don't like and each keeps growing on me with each listen. This has as much to do with Nick Warren as it does with the producers he's brought on board for this compilation. While each production is dazzling in its own right, it's a testament to Nick Warren for adding even more dazzle to these tracks in the way he's placed them in the overall structure of the compilation. If anything, the more I've listened, the more it's grown on me and because of that, it benefits from being heard back to back, very loudly and on repeat. A superb release from Global Underground but, more so, a testament to Nick Warren. This is one of the best compilations of 2008. Needless to say, highly recommended.

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