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earinfluxion

11 April 2017

Various
Artists: Dreamy Harbor (Tresor)

Since
its earliest days as a fledgling nightclub, Tresor has often had its
finger on the pulse of techno. With Dreamy Harbor, the label has
taken a moment to reflect upon its 25 year history with this cerebral
12-track compilation of cuts that twists and turns through its annals
and newer enthusiasms alike, crossing freely between beatless
ambience and late night bangers. It’s a curious deviation from their
usual runs of comps, like the simply numbered off Tresor Compilation
series or its companion series, Annex. Dreamy Harbor feels like a
look back as much as a look forward, touching down in areas that are
often more leftfield or less obvious than the majority of its big
backcatalogue. Having essentially brought public attention to such
legendary heavyweights as Joey Beltram, Jeff Mills, Surgeon, James
Ruskin, Drexciya, Stewart Walker, Cristian Vogel, and many, many
more, label founder Dimitri Hegemann and his peers have little to
prove. Instead, I recommend listening to Dreamy Harbour with an open
mind toward creativity and variety rather than following the
blueprint that Tresor artists have so well mapped, modified, and
revisited over time. Indeed, several cuts here are not even original
Tresor productions; Vainqueur’s opener, taken from his Solanus 12"
from 1996, was originally released by Chain Reaction (equally and
massively influential a label in its own right).

Sadly for those
buying the CD, neither the Vainqueur track nor another by Thomas
Fehlmann (exclusive, as far as I can tell) are included. Many other
tracks are exclusive to this release, including dubby contributions
in its second half from Claudia Anderson, Jon Hassell (!), and
Marcelus. Fans of Tresor’s techno underpinnings won’t be
disappointed, either, with four-to-the-floor contributions from
Mønic, Shao, Donato Dozzy, and Juan Atkins & Moritz Von Oswald.
Some tracks go far back in the Tresor archives (TV Victor’s “La
Beff”) while others hint at what’s to come. The second half of
Dreamy Harbor certainly lives up to its name and perhaps suggests
that not everything coming out of the Tresor camp will always be so
dancefloor functional. I’m especially curious about Gerald Donald and
Ana Artalejo’s new Daughter Produkt project, whose “Direction
Asymmetry” closes the album out. As the press release says, “This
record marks the spirit of those 25 years of creativity, a paean to
the psychedelic music of Dimitri’s youth.” Splitting the difference
between Tresor’s loyalty to the dance music it fostered and inspired
and Hegemann’s influences over those years results in Dreamy Harbor
gliding smoothly over a broad surface of sounds, but nearly
everything here is qualified and well worth attention. 25 years in,
Tresor is still making waves, dreamy as they may indeed be.

Buy it: Boomkat

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