Balance 023


Matt "Radio Slave" Edwards is one of electronic music's true experimentalists; a man rooted in house and techno whose oeuvre reaches much farther beyond. From the downtempo gloss of his Quiet Village project to a half-hour-long remix of Diddy to the audio-visual soundscape immersions of The Machine, he continually strives to push his music forward and keep himself on his toes. His concoction for Balance comes in two distinct parts. CD1 begins with a dash of found-sound, taken from Edwards' daily routine, segueing into the emotive strains of DJ Bone's "Change" a cappella. Stephan G & The Persuader's 1997 roller "Kaos" begins the groove, with dainty melody shimmering subtly atop a throbbing, deep bass line. Dystopian grooves characterize CD1's first half, fragments of otherworldliness permeating his rolling, hypnotic grooves. It's in the backwards pianos of his remix of Ian Pooley & Spencer Parker's "Lurchen und Eulen" and the warped, dubby stabs of Svek's Brommage Dub (another '97 gem). Timeline's "Ghosts of Greystone" jets into space from a Detroit launch pad, joining the dots between techno and jazz, and we're gradually drawn into more organic sounds via the hazy keys of Fred P's remix of Nina Kraviz's "Voices" and to long-forgotten late-'80s Afro-house from No Smoke. Rasta vocals on Brotherhood's "Memorial Smith" give way to a handful of classic and classically-styled house tracks. This uplifting crescendo concludes with Prins Thomas whipping up Edwards' "Tantakatan" into a rousing Balearic anthem, and Larry Heard's sumptuous "First Call of the Morning," giving a Muzak-inflected nod to the selector's laidback work of years gone by. CD2 travels through the deeper recesses of his record collection, soaking up ambient, downtempo and experimental flavors that are bound by a sense of melody and atmosphere. Beatless soundscapes eschew in the mix's beginnings before we emerge at the hazy beats of Theo Parrish remixing Skooby Laposky's "Lighthouse" and the abrupt piano twinkles and stomping beats of the Slum Village track. Low-slung funk carries us through the next phase, into the illustrious Balearic disco glamour of Linda Law's "All the Night" from 1978 and the sumptuous strings of his Quiet Village beauty "Can't Be Beat." It's into bleeps and bass next with a vintage F-Communications workout from D.S., then somber contemporary jazz from Portico Quartet before Edwards cleverly segues into Herbie Hancock's seminal, minimalist 1974 workout "NoBu" -- one of the earlier meetings of synths and jazz. The classic, ethereal twinkling of Software's lush "Present Voice" rounds off this engrossing collection, with a final snippet of a week in the life of Radio Slave serving as an auditory bookend to the proceedings. With this masterful collection of tracks from five decades of record collecting, he has undoubtedly succeeded in presenting a vision that's a million miles away from the generic sounds filling up so many floors in this day and age. Other artists include: Julien Perez, Delano Smith, Makam, Frost (Of), Rhadoo, Jeremy, Vadim Svobada, Sandy Rivera, Joe Claussell, Melchior Productions, Larry Heard, Ryuchi Sakamoto, Vince Watson, The Machine, and Jay Dee.