VA – We Are The Future Spring ’14 (3rd Avenue)

3rd Avenue‘s We Are The Future compilation series began in the Summer of 2013 and since that time the top Belgian imprint has released one collection for each impending season. It’s a great showcase for some of the future singles that the label will be presenting later in the year and it also serves as a great introduction to many of the artists who are making their label debut. This week sees 3rd Avenue with their Spring ’14 Sampler which features five very strong cuts from Philip Chedid, Rafa’EL, Groven, Francomanz and John Cosani.

The first track on the collection ‘Remaindermen’ from Phillip Chedid is also one of its strongest. The US based producer has just one previous production on his discography from almost two years ago. He’s clearly been working hard in the studio over that time because ‘Remainderman’ is full of funk and atmosphere. The foundation of record is really well shaped and also carries a very unique character. If the splendid groove wasn’t enough the dreary atmospheres cast a very ominous vibe that makes it great for setting a mood on the dance floor. It’s the subtleties of this piece that really make it such a great record though. You can tell Phillip has spent a good deal of time in clubs over the course of his life cause this a very mature record for someone with just one credit on their discography.

The second offering comes from Rafa’EL who is also making his first appearance on 3rd Avenue. The Polish producer has built a nice discography over the course of his one year production career. Appearances on Mistique Music and Soundteller are the highlights and reveal a producer that is slowly perfecting his craft. Rafa’EL’s contribution to ‘We Are The Future’ is entitled ‘Space Love’ and it’s definitely one of his strongest productions to date. Rooted by a mildly warped bassline the groove is both unique and captivating at the outset. As layers of soft atmospheric textures and bright drums get added to the mix the inner beauty of the record really shines. It’s a subtle composition but the emotion is strong nonetheless and the vocal elements are the icing on the cake. Excellent stuff from Rafa’EL.

Romanian producer Groven is next with his latest production ‘Low’. I first heard about Groven with his appearance on Verche’s Decadence imprint last year. It’s not a surprise to now see him on 3rd Avenue as much like Verche 3rd Avenue label owner Dominique Heyninck has a great ear for talent. ‘Low’ is one of the bigger sounding productions on ‘We Are The Future’ and it’s techy drive is a welcome addition here. Clattering drums, glassy keys, rolling momentum and a celestial ambiance are what make this piece so strong. There’s also a nice Hernen Cattaneo vibe happening so don’t be surprised if you see the legendary DJ lending his support.

The fourth selection is provided by Francomanz who like all the other producers here is making his first appearance on 3rd Avenue. Hailing from the talent rich country of Argentina Francomanz has two production credits on Massive Harmony and Elliptical Sun Recordings respectively. His contribution here entitled ‘Mr Sz’ is a deep, progressive house gem. The smooth flow of hypnotic energy continues to build throughout the production and its overall warmth is quite inviting. The whistle like pads add that extra touch of emotion at the records peak as well which just makes it all the better. Great stuff from Francomanz.

The final track included here is from Argentinean producer John Cosani. John’s ‘Arw’ EP on Clinique recordings towards the end of 2013 really caught my attention and he’s delivered a fine production here to close the release out. ‘Diamond’ is perhaps the least progressive sounding cut included here as it has some tech house leanings no doubt. The tightly constructed groove is well complemented with rhythmic tones, drifting vocal pads and a soft ambiance that seems perfectly suited for back room action. Top production from John and an exceptional collection from 3rd Avenue. Curious to see which of these end up with their own releases and new remix packages. Highly Recommended.

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