Monday, 8 March 2010

Zero dB: One Offs, Remixes and B-Sides (Tru Thoughts)

As much as experimentation and diversion from what’s gone before is the spice of life when it comes to contemporary music, there is something perfectly satisfying when a new release does exactly what you’d hope, and expect, of it. Obviously, with an off-cut type of album like this two disc set, these expectations can sometimes be negative ones, tinged with worries over quality-quantity balance and whether it’s the artist or the label who wanted to release it.

No such concern here though, as Zero DB and Tru Thoughts could be one of the most reliable combinations in the world of beats and breaks. The experienced remixing duo of Chris Vogado and Neil Combstock have here combed the edges of their back catalogue to form a retrospective that says as much about their calibre as it does how good they must be at going to the right sort of parties. On their illustrious guestlist Alice Russell, Quantic, Hexstatic, Javi P3z Orquesta, Frank De Jojo, and Bonobo appear, along with remixes from Seiji and Aaron Jerome. The Vogado Projects’ glorious ten minute triumph that is Mas Feurte Que El Sol proves a particular highlight, ponderously mixing deep house (stay with me) style piano with a Latin rhythm and flecks of sax in the same way that made Quiet Village’s Silent Movie an effortless piece of perfection.

Zero DB may always remain deliberately shadowy figures, sat at the bar sipping a beer while some of their labelmates bare all on stage. But their gliding skills in production and ability to move from smooth low tempo work to textbook breakbeat will ensure they will keep winning and keeping fans time after time.

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