The ever excellent Chapter 24 offer up their second ‘Seven Stories’ compilation, packed with tracks from some of the most creative forces in house, techno and progressive today.

First up, Der Turnbeutel and SOSO head-honcho Oliver Schories serves up one of his trademark melodic prog/deep-house crossovers, with two heavy basslines and rippling melodies setting the mood, and wicked reverberating vocal clips and firing hi-hits taking the track to the next level. The breakdown lets the countermelodies come to the fore while the basses rumble away below, before the drop lets all of the melodic themes interweave one last time.

Not content with being one of the most respected DJs on the scene, Darin Epsilon has been slowly but surely building his reputation as a producer over the past few years, with releases on the likes of Sudbeat, Replug, and of course his own Perspectives Digital. ‘Jenova’ pits crunchy percussion against a central arp and eerie pads, and melodic dubby stabs keeping things nice and propulsive.

I’ve been following Jobe’s output for a while now, and his work just seems to get better and better, with last year’s EP on Selador and his recent remix for Chapter 24 really establishing him as a musical force to be reckoned with. ‘Aurora’ might be his best work so far – every second of it is gorgeous, and its haunting intricately layered melodies, powerful and menacing bass tones, and memorable vocal work adds up to something really special.

Newcomer to Chapter 24 Roundhead (Italy) is up next with ‘Durante il Viaggio’. A pulsing bassline and a churning almost acidic melody side alongside crisp percussion, with some tabla-like flourishes adding a nice touch. The breakdown introduces a surprisingly gentle and pretty piano, before those acidic sounds rise up to dominate once more – though the piano returns in the final minute to give a final splash of beauty.

Following up some seriously impressive releases on the likes of Einmusika, MNL, and Chapter 24, ‘Back Home’ sees Christopher Ivor initially pushing a taut, stab-driven sound, backed by a weighty bassline. It soon reveals a sweeter side, though, with chiming melodies and lovely key changes. And the track just keeps building and building, adding understated layers of sound and melody all the way to the end, delivering a real emotional hit in the process.

Chapter 24 regular KatrinKa makes a welcome return with ‘Fragments’, which see her pushing a fantastic combination of bouncy percussion, a shuffling bassline, and moody melodic themes, including some stunning eastern-tinged vocal samples and instrumentation. It’s a cool, driving, moving ride, with a hazy and poignant breakdown offering a moment of calm before the track’s rich finale.

Danny Oliveria, best known under his DNYO moniker, gave Chapter 24 perhaps their strongest release so far with his inspired Stargazer EP last year. Shade of Light is his new project with George Gomes, and if ‘Sierra’ is anything to go by you’ll want to keep it on your radar. It starts life as a super-subtle builder, with minimal percussion hammering away while the track’s astonishingly lovely, trancey melody swirls and swells. We’re nearly 4 minutes into the track before Shade of Light let the bassline loose, and it soon intensifies into a surprisingly fierce growl which contrasts nicely with the dreamy, otherworldly melodics as they begin to creep back in. This is the soundtrack to a rave some undetermined distance in the future – it’s unreal.

There’s so much to enjoy on this superb collection from Chapter 24 – as I’ve indicated, my personal favourites come from Jobe and Shade of Light, but every track offers something distinctive and interesting. Highly recommended.

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