2006 will be looked back on as a vintage year for Buzzin' Fly
. Expanding the label sound from its deep melodic roots into the new era of nu techno and electro inspired a clutch of releases that eclipsed the successes of previous years and delivered underground club hits on numerous and varied dance floors and a flush of compilation licenses all over the world. Tracks such as Darkmountaingroup's 'Lose Control', Ame's remix of Rodamaal's 'Insomnia' and Jimpster's 'Square Up' are evergreens in many modern boxes.
So how does the label move on? The answer lies in the fourth installment of label boss Ben Watt's popular and best-selling mix series. Renewing Buzzin' Fly
's commitment to nurturing new talent, the compilation is entirely made up of home-grown tracks, the majority of which have yet to see the light of day, and several from artists never heard of before. Every track is either on Buzzin' Fly
or its new sister imprint, Strange Feeling
. It is a bracingly fresh collection and marks out Buzzin' Fly
as a label with a distinct and unique sound.
Of the artists involved, debutants Moscow's Kimouts and St. Petersberg's BarBQ underline the growing importance of Eastern Europe in the modern scene with their warm takes on deep techno and disco. Deep house cult figures Pedro Madeira (PM Project) and Martin Brodin (Deeplay) deliver up super-fresh future-facing tracks hat mark forks in the road for their respective recorded output. Paris' ultra-hip Pulp and Rex resident Mlle Caro and Franck Garcia follow their gorgeous electronic pop debut on Crosstown Rebels last year with a stunning future classic of instrumental tech-pop, while Buzzin' Fly dark cornerstones Manoo and François A return with the searing 'Magnètic'. Jamie 'Jimpster' Odell follows his debut for the label last year with a heart-thumping re-work of Justin Martin's classic 'The Sad Piano', and with a nod to last year's highpoints, Abyss's deadly 'Mind Games' gets another outing, but morphs midway into another debut, this time a rich organic dub-tech ride from The Green Men (a new partnership between Berlin-via-Finland's Sasse (Moodmusic) and New York's Nick Chacona). Head honcho Ben Watt caps it off with a thrumming box-fresh unreleased slice of modern techno-house in 'Just A Blip' and his acclaimed electro-disco re-work of 'Silver Ponds' by Strange Feeling's debut signings, the alt-pop Danish band, Figurines.
The drive and propulsion of Watt's journey is a master-class in modern harmonic mixing. Tracks glide seamlessly in and out of each other, overlapping in long extended cross fades, tweaked by filters and delays from Watt's enviable battery of analog outboard equipment hooked up especially for the session. The mix is book-ended by further spoken word extracts from Watt's long-running Outspoken project, here featuring Oslo-based Iowa narrator, Jennifer Valone.
You won't hear anything like it from anyone else. Melodically rewarding. Sonically vibrant. Buzz buzz.