Here we are for collection updates for 2018 Quarter 3.
If you are new to this series of posts (this is the first one), I go over the CD’s, Vinyls and any other music format that I have purchased this month and now fully call ‘mine’. Releases that are in my ‘listening queue’ are not listed below, think of those as being in a state of limbo, purgatory almost.
Start Month: July 2018 | End Month: September 2018 | Previous Quarter
Various Artists – Pete Tong Essential Selection Winter 1997 [CD]
So I am a bit of a nightmare when it comes to compilations, in so much that I go from despising them to really lusting after them.
Over the years I have tried to develop some ground rules within myself as to what I deem is worth picking up and what is not.
The rules (loosely followed) are as follows:
- Check if there are any artists or tracks that you are already familiar with present on the release. If there are multiple and they appear to be from the same genre weigh up the likelihood of enjoying the compilation in full.
- When there are no existing artists or tracks that you are familiar with, consider the theme of the compilation (if there is one) and the label or series it is released under. Is the compilation going to introduce to you to new items to further expand your music tastes or is it simply going to be replaying songs that you are already familiar with.
- How long is the compilation? Do you really need 100 tracks, or would somewhere in the region of 10 tracks be more suitable? Is this an area of music that you are not super familiar with but enjoy where 100 tracks would be beneficial or would it become a hassle to work through all 100 tracks.
With these (albeit slightly vague) rules that ultimately only make sense to me, I can now quickly determine if a compilation is worth my time. Do I mis-step? Yes. I still on the regular buy a compilation with poor quality audio, a crap selection or that has a theme that may have seemed interesting on the on-set but ends up being a complete miss.
Although I am too young to properly know who Pete Tong is I am aware of his significance in regards to the electronic music scene. A top UK DJ who had shows on the biggest radio station in the country, BBC Radio 1, a person whose name you simply have to mention and people being to show respect and appreciation for – this is someone who I think I can blindly trust to have good taste. And I will be honest, I have not been let down by this mixed double-compilation.
I picked this up from a charity shop, where electronic compilations are a dime-a-dozen. Ministry of Sound Annuals and All Around the World Clubland volumes fill the shelves of these stores, some of them objectively better than others but this was the first time I had come across a Pete Tong compilation. It came packaged in its original card sleeve and had some heft to it, I flipped it over and saw staple tracks of the period that I was familiar with: Saturday by East 57th St., Never Ever by All Saints, R.I.P. Groove by Double 99, Sunchyme by Dario G and Stay by Sash!. But I was hesitant. Many times before I have bought these electronic compilations with a few tracks that I know, and been let down as they are neighboured by flat, boring and uninteresting productions. Luckily for Pete Tong, myself and the charity shop there wasn’t anything else in the store that I wanted. This CD became the typical gamble CD, the free CD in the 2-for-1 deals. I thought to myself, well Pete Tong is a big name I could probably eventually sell this on if it fails to impress.
I actually forgot about the release for a little while, but as I have been quite hot on getting through my pending queues recently it wasn’t long until I was loading the CD’s into my Plex Music Queue library. Looking for something unintrusive to listen to while in the car and also when at work, I kept finding myself picking out this mix. I’m going to call this release more of a mix from this point forward because that is what it is. It isn’t just some run of the mill compilation normally put out by Polygram; this one actually feels like it has some heart to it. OK it doesn’t compare to the feeling and emotion present in mixes from labels like Fabric but it certainly feels like it has more emotion than the other electronic compilation present in this quarter.
The release contains a nice selection of Garage House tracks, with the odd dash of traditional (if that exists) house music. Luckily I am a sucker for garage music so it is little wonder why I ended up enjoying this release in the way that I have done. I don’t know how similar other volumes in Pete’s Essential Selection series are to this edition, but I am likely to be less hesitant picking them up in future if this release is a guide for the quality and selection of tracks available.
Most Memorable Track: Never Ever (Booker T Dub)
It isn’t really cool to enjoy All Saints in 2018, it probably wasn’t in 2008 or even a year after this album was released in ’98. In much the same way it isn’t very cool for me to enjoy Ellie Goulding remixes now. But sometimes you get a remix that just captures the right parts of a pop song, and create a truly wonderful track. Everytime this track comes on in the mix, just past the halfway point of CD1, I always turn it up. The original track is a guilty pleasure of mine, second to Pure Shores, so it has that going for it straight out of the gates; but Booker T remixes the delicate pop song into a driving house song while still maintaining one single pungent vocal stab Was it that I never paid enough attention?
Other Additions for this Quarter
I’ll be honest, I can be horrendously lazy and uninspiring. This section is an ode to that part of me. Pretty much I added these releases to my collection because I just enjoy them. There isn’t anything exceptional about any one of these releases, some of them may be an additional step to completing the discography for a particular artist, band or performer; some might just be good collection fillers.