Denis A’s DAR label delivered what was certainly one of 2012’s most impressive compilations. The ‘Kazantip Anniversary Compilation’ contained tracks from : Timos Mass, Robert Babicz, Guy J, Cid Inc., Luis Junior and many other A-list producers. It closed out what was a very successful year for the DAR family and 2013 has seen the DAR Digital imprint get off to a great start with releases from: Denis A, Tech D and Dale Middleton. This week sees the digital imprint with their first compilation release entitled ‘DAR Digital Showcase 001’. After one look at the track list you get a clear understanding that the folks at DAR have a very good connection with not only the up and coming Russia underground but the global progressive house and melodic techno scene. When we received the compilation at the Release Promo offices our jaws literally dropped when looking at the artists involved here. Fran Von Vie, Scotty.A, Tech D, Gvozdini, Stas Drive, E-Spectro, Tvardovsky, Piyush Awasthi, Michael A, Adnan Jakubovic and Progreg are just some of the artists who appear on the expansive 18 track collection.
The compilation begins with what is arguably its strongest track from Fran Von Vie. Fran’s ‘Omega’ currently sits at no.3 in our overall Hype Chart and would have to be one of the Spanish producers most inspiring pieces to date. A deep, throbbing and character laden set of bass tones sits at the foundation while a hazy atmospheric back drop begins to build around the tracks framework. The composition builds in a slow dramatic fashion which is something that Fran has really mastered. Subtle modulation on the bass tones combined with some airy, angelic sounding pads and just the right amount of clattering percussion provides a smooth but exhilarating apex to the track which as we eluded to earlier goes down as one of Fran’s best.
Another track that seems to have caught the attention of many is Scotty.A’s ‘The Waiting Game’ which has also broke into the top 10 of our Hype Chart as it currently sits at no.6. Scotty has this unique ability to create tracks which carry a good amount of atmosphere and groove without making them sound overly progressive. ‘The Waiting Game’ certainly falls into that category as well with its more techno oriented framework. The driving groove gets accented wonderfully with big bassy growls and soft rhythmic stabs which cast a wonderful hypnotic component over the track. The endless waves of undulating rhythms carry the track through two short breaks and a smooth climax as the mesmerizing lines continue to drive forward. Great stuff from Scotty.
Stereo Paradise headman Tvardovsky also contributes a standout track in the form of ‘Agonia’ which should more than satisfy all the melodic techno fans out there. A tough framework along with some panning electronics and a wobbly, deep-set bass line sets the foundation of the record as it begins to build. The real ‘piece de resistance’ here is a set of magically cascading keys which form a bubbly cluster of eerie melodies that really excites the senses. A second hypnotic lead also shines out of the main break with tension filled modulation and unique chord changes provided a nicely twisted climax to the track. Tvardovsky always seems to ‘on’ and ‘Agonia’ is no exception. Well done Svatoslav.
Gvozdini has been one of DAR’s biggest contributors since the labels Digital division began. The Ukrainian producer contributes two incredible tracks here entitled ‘Berlin’s Flower Wall’ and ‘We Gonna Rock’ which both delver something quite unique. ‘Berlin’s Flower Wall’ casts a wonderfully dreamy and intoxicating vibe as it begins with its fluttering melodic lines, spacey sweeps and poignant claps. The effortless way the production just seems to float as new drums elements and further electronic intricacies get added to the mix is really impressive. One of the smoothest records on the compilation and one that you will not tire of listening to. ‘We Gonna Rock’ goes down as one of the biggest sounding compositions on the compilation. The first half is led by a big bottom end complete with some heavy modulation which is electric sounding to say the least. The main break is really a massive dance floor moment waiting to happen though. A hugely escalating set of tones along with a wavering wall of dense synths builds an enormous amount of tension before the whole thing drops out momentarily for a huge payoff. The track closes with a gorgeous melodic moment as well which is utterly beautiful especially in contrast to the raging section which lead up to it. This one’s got it all, absolutely massive stuff from Gvozdini, expect dance floor chaos with this one.
The final track we choose to feature in depth is E-Spectro’s ‘Morphing Spot’ which has also done quite well in our Hype Chart currently sitting just inside the Top 15. Russian producers Ivan Rayt and Igor Born make up the E-Spectro production team and their brand of moody, melodic techno has been featured not only on DAR but also Stereo Paradise, Armada and Festival Lounge. Ivan and Igor have crafted another gorgeous composition with ‘Morphing Spot’. The grinding groove seems to flow endlessly through a series of melancholic chord changes while sections of distorted bells and aquatic hits add just the right amount of sensory stimulation without losing focus on the awesome groove. Top work from E-Spectro.
There is so much incredible music on this compilation that it’s really quite staggering, in addition to what we’ve showcase here in our review there are superb productions from: Tech D, Stas Drive, Piyush Awasthi, Michael A, Adnan Jakubovic. Progreg, Panoma, Taboo, Pozitive, Phanton and Sergey Polaris. After one listen through of this it’s very evident that melodic techno and new school progressive fans have a lot to look forward to in the future because not only are the more seasoned veterans like Fran Von Vie and Scotty.A consistently delivering great productions but the up and coming crop of talent is incredibly rich. An outstanding collection from DAR Digital which will certainly go down as one of the years best collections. Highly Recommended. Release Promo Hype Chart #3