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Various Artists – Shapes 001 (Symmetric Records)

The fifth release on Symmetric Records is out this week and it features the label showcasing its first ever exclusives compilation entitled ‘Shapes’.


Compiling something like this can be an exhausting task but Symmetric label boss Oscar Holgado was more than up for the task. After four solid releases on this young imprint a collection like this seems to be the ideal next step for the label. Featured on the release are: Weird Sounding Dude, Sound Sour, Jon Hatter, David Caetano, MNR, David Salazar, Artur Husid, Wainscott, Ri Za and Ittai Barkai. There is a wide range of music here from electronica to techno to house to progressive house but it all fits together quite well and there are some standout productions that you certainly won’t want to miss.

The collection begins with Weird Sounding Dude’s ‘Arrhythmias’ which is one of my faves here. It’s lazy downtempo beats and tranquil atmosphere sets the stage nicely for the meat of the collection. Following 3 very housey numbers from Sound Sour, Jon Hatter and David Caetano we have MNR’s ‘Malawi’ which is one of the coolest tracks on the compilation. MNR has been one of 2014’s most underappreciated talents. The Canadian’s appearances on Agara Music, Stellar Fountain and System Recordings have all been exceptional. There is an abundance of creativity in this man and it shows once again on ‘Malawi’. Generally known for his dreamy progressive productions MNR has showed some amazing versatility here with a much housier take on things. The records foundation in particular is just loaded with dance floor appeal, perfectly carved and hopelessly groovy! The acid lead and moderately twisted electronics are the star of the show for me though. Just wickedly produced and never going to far over board. Awesome stuff from MNR.

Following that is another stand out track from David Salazar who is making his first appearance on Symmetric here. The Mexican producer has been having a great year with recent releases on BC2, Entangled and Massive Harmony Records. The track David has contributed to ‘Shapes’ is entitled ‘Erethism’ and it’s one of the best works of his career thus far. It’s tough dubby beats, aquatically styled electronics and sweeping vocal pads all make for a very dreamy creation. The breakdowns are just pure cinematic bliss as well, very captivating stuff and should make for some great late night play.

What follows are two techno inspired pieces from Artur Husid and Wainscott which setup Ri Za’s trippy, driving number ‘Not To Be Told’ quite well. Even though this is not a DJ mix the programming of the tracks seems perfect and the closer ‘This Is Techno’ from Ittai Barkai seems like the ideal piece to round out the collection. It’s funky groove and quirky rhythms bring things down from the previous cuts but there’s still enough pop so that you get a nice introspective look back at what you’ve just assimilated. A great first label compilation from Symmetric Records with some real standouts from MNR and David Salazar. Don’t miss it.

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