Artist: Nick Warren
Title: Global Underground: 024 - Reykjavik
Label: Global Underground
By: Simon Jones | 26 March 2003
  1. Avatar - Dub In Time
  2. Substructure - Firewire
  3. Atlas - Compass Error (Tarrentella: Redanka Dubbed Version)
  4. Ulrich Schnauss - Nobody's Home
    Shuffle Heads - Roll Call
  5. Boards Of Canada - Happy Cycling
  6. Yunx - Thinking About Your Next Move
  7. Planet Funk -Tightrope Artist Tale
  8. Momu - The Dive
    Mastermind - In Every Truth
  9. Justin Simmons - Helga Moller
  10. Burufunk - Outsider
    Global Communication - 14:31
    MOT - 110 Mistakes
  11. Grayarea - Yewminyst
  12. Glimmer Of Dope - Love Lost

Nick Warren "Global Underground: 024 - Reykjavik"

Out Now on Global Underground

Nick Warren is the most prolific of Global Underground's DJ roster, with this album, 'Reykjavik' being his fifth for the series. It has been documented that this will be his last as he wishes to develop his work as Way Out West with Jody Wisternoff further. We can only hope that is not the case, but Nick has made sure that if it is, he is going out with a bang. 'Reykjavik' is the 24th album in the Global Underground series, but as you will discover, this is more than that. It's something unique in it's own right.

CD1 is a transatlantic journey through ambient and experimental sounds, starting off with the atmospheric reggae grooves of 'Dub In Time' by Avatar, a track by two lads based right on GU's hometown doorstep of Newcastle, and an indication that Nick has gone far and wide to seek out material for this cd to deliver a superb listening experience. The blissed out melody of 'Firewire' by Substructure melts subtly into the superb trip hop style beats of the classic 'Compass Error' by Atlas, reworked for the 21st century by the acclaimed production duo Tarrentella Vs Redanka.

The first evidence of Nick's experimentation slips in next as the sublime electronic sounds of 'Nobody's Home' by Ulrich Schnauss, one of the standout tracks on the disc meshes as one with 'Roll Call' by the Shuffle Heads. This is but the tip of the Icelandic iceberg as the beautiful chords of 'Happy Cycling' by the highly regarded Boards Of Canada drifts subconsciously into the mix, closely followed by tracks from Yunx and Planet Funk.

When Momu's 'The Dive' drops in, it heralds the start of Nick lifting the pace, taking us deeper, showing us unchartered waters, much like Iceland's hidden lagoons that lay within the dark and rocky volcanic landscapes. What Nick is now treating us to is his soundtrack that navigates those peaks and waters, revealing surprises whilst merging an element of intensity with calm. Like contrasting shades of darkness and light. The transition that occurs as the tight breakbeats of 'Outsider' by the up and coming outfit Burufunk fuse with the pianos and film samples taken from the move 'Naked' as a result of overlayed tracks by Global Communication and MOT is a defining moment of the cd, Nick drawing on his influences of the past decade and beyond for a brief moment, before the beats come rolling back in, building to perhaps the finest moment on the disc as the nu skool beats of 'Yewminyst' by Grayarea rattle the speakers, it's powerful melody and progressive edged bassline dragging the pace higher and into trippy melodic grooves of Glimmer Of Dope's 'Love Lost' to bring the disc to an end, leaving you anticipating and wanting more.

Nick ended the disc like that for a reason though, as CD2 continues right on where that left off, building an energy amidst cinematic soundscapes slowly, the swirling ambience of Aural Imbalance's 'Aural Navigation' taking things deeper and around the other side of the dark landscape, where the upbeat groove and devastating vocals of 'Rise', it's deep rippling bassline and electronic synths build alongside Alan Thomson's vocal with blinding results. Proof that Aidan 'Vector' Lavelle is just as musically talented as his brother James. Tracks from Aquaculture keep the groove on the same template, with Dream Traveller's 'Headpusher' heralding a key change, dreamy yet chilled sounds that could quite easily emerge from the hot springs of the Blue Lagoon.

Rambient's 'Karma' meanwhile floats over the soundscape Nick is crafting like the unified voice of the people relaxing within the lagoon, an aura of calm and tranquillity sitting underneath everything with a singular melody emerging, changing, evolving, and enchanting you with it's simple in format, yet big in depth arrangement. The track emerging is called 'Crayons' and it's from a young Texan lad who goes by the name of Starkid, whom Nick has been supporting ever since he first heard the track. As it's sounds draw you in, we cross briefly across to the middle east, namely to Turkey for the chilled out harmonies of 'Strawberry Fields' from Subsky. This track eases your mind, slowly relaxing your soul in time for the us to catch the 'Last Minute Flight' with our pilot Kris B. The destination. Tranquillity, Euphoria, or whatever plain in whatever universe you wish to be on at this very moment. You have reached your final destination. Your in flight entertainer Nick Warren hopes you have enjoyed the journey and will join him again soon.

Not since perhaps some of the early Global Underground albums has such a diverse approach been taken. This not only shows where Nick came from, his Bristol roots, his eclectic sets, but also shows where he is, and where he's going. It's a travelogue of his journeys so far, and no doubt there will be more to come.

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