V/A: 100DSR (Delsin)
Delsin Records has been operating on the sly for a long while now, and with their 100th release they are celebrating with a five-part series of 12" vinyl releases, collected here digitally as one impressive opus. For those buying digitally, the full comp is the way to go, including a few other tracks from the catalogue as well as costing significantly less (especially factoring in digital retailers’ tendency to treat tracks over 10 minutes long as “album only,” jacking the price). Delsin’s aesthetic has always been varied enough to be interesting but with high enough quality control to be consistently reliable. The artists and tracks culled together for 100DSR are no exception, calling on some of the label’s brighter successes as well as dark horses to make a pretty vibrant collection of deep and minimal grooves. The full compilation plays back in mostly the same running order as the vinyl (I had actually purchased some of the singles separately before resorting to the full comp to get a few bonus tracks for the same inflated price of the missing installments flagged as “albums”) with only a few exceptions, and I think it’s smart for the label to keep that order in tact. Just as Delsin tends to often walk the line between techno, house, and “other” with its releases, this collection takes twists and turns along the way. Gerry Read’s “Granny Bag” is a welcome surprise, not sharing the same dusty lo-fi edge of his album and EPs but instead feeling a tad brighter and synthier. There are some pleasantly more downtempo tracks, like the melodic classic IDM of CiM’s “Way Station,” the half-speed plod of Ross 154’s “Moon FM Desire,” or the hazy ambient interlude that comes courtesy of Bnjmn. Several artists flex their techno muscle with some no nonsense dancefloor techno tracks, including Mike Denhert’s banging “Passenger,” the Warehouse Mix of Claro Intelecto’s “Heart,” Area Forty_One’s “Supervoid.” A clean feeling of Detroit nostalgia comes through on Convextion’s “Verna” or D 5’s “Stem Cell.” My personal favorite is toward the front; Unbroken Dub’s “Spacing” is spacious and aspirational, soaring over an even pulse with distant bells and shimmering pads. Another real personal highlight is Delta Funktionen’s “Petrol,” a booming distorted electro-bass track that takes its time working up to an ominous stride. A Made Up Sound’s remix of “Rear Window” is the jerkiest track here, landing slightly out of bounds of most of the rest of the comp (which makes sense given that it’s one of the few previously released tracks here), sounding closer to Delsin’s “-e” series of 12"s more than some other cuts here, but paired well with Herva’s “Radio’s Mutterings” as a one-two punch in the middle of the tracklist. Wisely, the compilation ends with John Beltran’s “Return to Nightfall,” a track that’s far more dancefloor friendly than most of his last outing for the label but which also synthesizes so many of the disparate, strong sides of the label’s aesthetic, combining elements of techno, house, IDM, and that elusive “other” with his signature panache.
The whole collection is well worth a listen, traversing a fairly broad amount of terrain relatively swiftly and offering plenty of quality tracks to support its already reputable line-up.