VA – James Gill Presents Proximity Effect (System Recordings)

The latest release on System Recordings finds the label showcasing a collection of local New York City talent.

Proximity Effect

The long standing imprint has called upon NYC producer / DJ James Gill to curate and mix the collection. It’s an intriguing project which also features a launch party on May 1st at the New York City venue ‘People Lounge’. The compilation is entitled ‘Proximity Effect’ and it includes brand new productions from Sebastian Tamayo, James Gill, Moshe Edri, Terron Darby, Tim Robert, Silicon Syndicate and Rory James.

The mix gets underway with Sebastian Tamayo’s ‘Lincoln Ave’. It’s broken beat intro and melancholic motifs are immediately compelling. There’s a powerful atmosphere conveyed here and it certainly sucks you into the mix almost instantly. It flows wonderfully into the first of two productions from the man at the controls James Gill. New school progressive fans are certainly hungry for more material from James since his huge 5 track EP on Sudbeat, and ‘Nobody’s Waiting’ does not disappoint. It’s deep, chugging and devilishly groovy foundation picks the momentum up just a touch and a complement of trailing effects and unique sonic designs are some of the most intriguing I’ve heard.

Up next is ‘Traffic’ from Moshe Edri who has been quiet on the production front since 2013. Several outings on Future Synth Records showcased a bright and energetic style with a European flair but on ‘Traffic’ we get something much deeper and more soulful. Much like James’ ‘Nobody’s Waiting’ it’s the strength of the groove that’s so exceptional here. The undulating waves of bass are quite powerful and the blissful vocal wails and delicate piano clusters sound incredibly classy.

You can feel the emotion of the mix slowly picking up with Terron Darby’s ‘Oblique Strategies’. The strong grooves which have been building previous to it continue with an abundance of wicked bass hooks but it’s the shimmering overlay which pushes the mix into new found territory.

Next up is the first of two from Tim Robert and also the mixes title cut ‘Proximity Effect’. Tim’s always had a very traditional progressive sound which pleases both old and new school fans of the genre and ‘Proximity Effect’ will be no different. There’s a definite old school Sasha vibe about this one. It’s vibrant lead tones and big, well carved groove bring huge energy to the mix and it certainly sits wonderfully as a showcase piece.

The second of two from Moshe Edri entitled ‘Name Your Cactus’ is next. It goes down as one of the most emotive pieces on the collection with a warm motif that just builds on the strong progressive vibes emanating from Tim’s ‘Proximity Effect’.

That leads into Tim’s second contribution here ‘Depth of Intent’ which continues to build that electric energy in the mix. It’s rough, electro tinged bass line carries a huge presence as several hypnotic themes flow through the framework towards the break. The mesmerizing lines develop further here and carry a trippier character as a result. It’s makes for an epic conclusion that fans of Tim are no doubt definitely going to enjoy.

The smooth rush of ‘Jellyfish’ by James Gill is next and takes the mix further into dreamland. It’s soft, textural drifts and fluid lines are enchanting to say the least and the romping, techno inspired framework keeps the focus firmly on the dance floor. At this point in the mix you can really feel the sum of its parts coming together nicely and there’s an air of anticipation with ‘Jellyfish’ that foreshadows what’s to come.

The second to last cut on the mix is provided by Silicon Syndicate who are making their second appearance on System Recordings. The much loved production duo famed for their releases on LuPS Records and Mistique Music have delivered one of the most intriguing tracks on the collection. There are a wealth of cool ideas and themes running through ‘Cloudcover’. From the heartfelt keys and chord changes to a twisted acid-like line there are a lot of contrasting elements which really work wonderfully together. The anthemic break may be the highpoint of the mix with a shimmering bed of keys and unique sonic accents leading the way.

The mix is closed out with ‘People Cry…The Birds Fly’ from Rory James who is making his first appearance on System Recordings. Rory’s been quiet on the production front since his two releases on Sorcery Records in 2012-2013 so his appearance here is certainly a welcome one. ‘People Cry…The Birds Fly’ seems to be the ideal closing piece on the collection as it’s driving rhythms and electric lines up the energy a few more notches. There’s a cool meld of techno grooves with progressive minded sensibilities here which is well in line with the contemporary sounds of either genre. The grinding tension coming out of the break is immense but as the beats fade back in Rory avoids the much anticipated big moment, rather opting for a very gradual build which just ups the anticipation even more. It’s rare that you’re on the edge of your seat (so to speak) with a track but on this one I was and the eventual payoff is absolutely massive. A huge tune from Rory to close out an excellent selection of music handpicked by James Gill.

This is a great concept for a project and one which I hope the label continues. If you’re in the NYC area and looking for a great night of music make sure to check out the ‘Proximity Effect’ launch party Friday May 1st at People Lounge.

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