Artist: Bill Hamel
Title: Balance 003
Label: EQ Grey
By: Simon Jones | 3 April 2002
  1. Darko - Phased (Blackwatch Spanish Harlem Dub
  2. Lula – The DJ, The Music & Me [Peace Division Freaky Vocal Mix)
  3. UDG – Give Me Fierce
  4. Way Out West – Mindcircus (Tarrentella:Redanka Dub)
  5. Joeski - Groundfloor EP (Tribalfusion)
  6. Hipp-E Presents – Primary Funktion
  7. Chris Lum – Big Tool
  8. Paco Bugg & D'amatoria Presents Circus Night – Amazonia (Chus & Cellabos Iberican Mix)
  9. SSL – Mean What You Say
  10. Guy Gerber & Sahar Z – Kenny's Back
  11. Lamb – Gorecki (Hamel Bootleg Mix)
  12. Barraka – Song To The Siren (Filterheadz Undercurrent Vocal Mix)

Bill Hamel "Balance 003 "

Out Now on EQ Grey

Bill Hamel, owner of the Sunkissed and Teknology labels in the US and collaborator with many top tier artists of the industry, from BT to Sam Mollison, to Blackwatch and Simon Noble, he has earned a name for him as one of the best djs on the US circuit as well as being a very consistent producer and remixer. Now he teams up with with the Australian label EQ for their latest in their Balance series, simply titled 003.

CD1 starts with the mighty Blackwatch delivering a tough dubby rework of the forthcoming Phased by Sumsonic's Darko, a nice deep track that starts the mix off well, subtly blending into the beats Peace Division lay down on their tripped out vocal remix of Lula's The Dj The Music & Me.

UDG's Give Me Fierce slows the pace right down before a nice percussion line and series of beats lead into the twisted cut up vocals of Trisha Kelshall as Tarrentella and Redanka get dark and dubby in their own imitable style on Way Out West's Mindcircus. Some new flavours in the form of superb house cuts from Chris Lum and Joeski are sprinkled in next, seperated by a spooky percussive tribal workout from the acclaimed Hipp-E.

Bill's recent collaborators Swain and Snell showcase a brand new production in the form of Mean What You Say, a spacey atmospheric workout that is very different to anything the guys have done in past months. From here Bill shows us that hes a man who likes influences from across the world, with the unmistakable break of the Portishead sampling Kennys Back by Israel producer/djs Guy Gerber and Sahar Z taking the mix off in another direction once more, rolling along into a nice consistent beat that rises and falls softly before the harmonious vocals of Lamb's Gorecki pierce your soul and captures your full attention, as Barakka's Song To The Siren brings the cd to a close, its soft vocals lowering the tone.

The cd is slickly put together, but Gorecki is just one of those tracks that is impossible to top, so obviously Barakka had massive odds to follow on from and in my opinion should have been left off the end of the disc.

However, over on CD2 Bill rethinks his strategy and drops in the massive Evolution mix of Close to start off the disc, its panning synths and chord progression building the mood sublimely, letting Tilt continue things perfectly with the assistance of Maria Nayler's vocals on the mighty Headstrong, before Quivver's Boz Boz picks up the pace, its tripped out dubby percussion line rattling along, twisting and growling as crazy vox fx interrupt the beats, as the quirky vocals and synth line of Mike G's Bellslut pans back and forth building the mood even futher into the tough bassline of Blackwatch's production with Dave "Insomniac" Gardner, Control, a deep techy workout that rattles along, the 'Control' vocal sample rolling over the bassline relentlessly, then Blackwatch returns once more in a solo capacity, with the deeply atmospheric and superbly evocative rework of Powerplant's With Or Without You.

As Lexicon Avenue appear in their Little Green Men guise, the soulful vocals being stripped down and built from the ground up by the master of the deep and groovy vocal remix, Satoshi Tomiie who reworks their track Need into a stunning masterpiece that is guaranteed to get you dancing, however competition is just around the corner as SOG's Tobi Wurz, with the assistance of his vocal partner in crime Lesley decide to join forces with Blackwatch to deliver a deep, dubby, yet subtly uplifting track called Gentle Rain, the vocals softly rolling over the bassline like raindrops trickling across the ground. As the track fades out, a slickly produced snare fuelled bassline twists and turns subtly, gaining momentum, then stunning cinematic synth sequences weave above and below the bassline, as the bassline fades and the atmospheric synths introduce some spacey fx and the bassline returns, more powerful than ever as the cd ends to a close, Simon Noble can be glad to know that this, his latest production Closing In is a real end of night track.

What amazes me about Australia is that there are many good labels, such as Zero Tolerance, Vapour, Thunk and more recently EQ/Grey. However, it only seems to be EQ who are determined to take on the rest of the world, and three volumes into the Balance series, they have proved on more than one occasion they are more than capable, and this is no exception.

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