LABEL: CROSSTOWN REBELS
The last twelve months have undoubtedly been something of a breakthrough for Acid Pauli. From supporting Nicolaas Jaar at a sold-out Round House gig in the spring to releasing his debut album mst in the summer, the long serving German producer has finally started to earn some recognition beyond his hometown of Berlin. Now, closing the year in fitting style, he has taken to the helms for the latest instalment of Crosstown Rebel’s Get Lost mix series.
Expanding from last year’s offering from CTR head honcho Damian Lazarus, Get Lost V is a double disc affair (with an additional digital mix thrown in when you purchase the CD) that celebrates Pauli’s rampantly eclectic disposition. If you’ve seen him DJ or perform live, as he did at Lazarus’ recent 40th birthday bash, you’ll know that he’s got a reputation for disregarding dance-music convention. Whilst the term ‘idiosyncratic’ is a little too well-worn to hold much value in mix CD reviews, in this case it fits perfectly. Acid Pauli has built his reputation through his highly-textured and individualistic approach to crafting DJ sets, and this is exactly what is on offer here. Yet, whilst this might work in an eight-hour set in a smoky basement club in the German capital, how well does this approach transfer to the mix CD format?
The answer is remarkably well. In fact, Get Lost V is the most interesting, engaging and innovative dance-music compilation I’ve listened to this year. The first disc sets the muted house and techno sounds that colour the compilation, with Kadebostan’s Love In Looxor and Pauli’s acid dub of Raz Ohara’sEl Zahir setting the swaggering yet meditative tone that narrates the opening mix.
Yet, it’s difficult to suggest that there is one prevalent mood or sound through the first disc. Whilst retaining an aesthetic coherence the variation on offer, from Normal Brain’srobot-channeling M-U-S-I-C to Jan Turkenburg’s child choir on In My Spaceship, is startling. Unafraid to place unusual tracks next to each other, the result is a mix that is sign-posted with memorable moments. The steady kick drums and morose synth textures provide a steady momentum, tying the disparate elements together and giving the opening disc that unusual quality of being both highly-engaging ‘mind music’ whilst pumping out a beat that I defy anyone not to want to shake to. Impressive.
The second disc offers even more variation, if you can believe that. Opening with pacier cuts from dOP, Pele & Stojan and Acid Pauli himself, the tempo soon slows down with introspective and shuffling numbers from Taron Trekka and Amirali. The last third provides a satisfying, slow-burning conclusion. From Calico Horse’s acoustic cover of Radiohead’s Idioteque to the mournful electronica conclusion of Lake Powel, by way of fine cuts from Autechre, Metrika, Console and BlackIsBeautiful, Pauli rounds up proceedings with the best enigmatic dance numbers you probably haven’t heard before.