Those at all familiar with Dial Records will be familiar with the Dial Records sound. Over the past 10 years, they’ve carved out a distinctive voice that their latest compilation 2010 shows no sign of dissuading. Sure, label founders David Lieske (Carsten Jost), Paul Kominek (Turner/Pawel), and Peter Kersten (Lawrence/Sten) would likely bark at such an accusation, but the divergences from their patented blend of post-Robert Hood Detroit techniques, ambient textures, and deep house grooves always seem like just that; divergences. And so it goes with 2010 wherein Phantom/Ghost’s Sylvian/Sakamoto-esque art-pop piano ballad “My Secret Europe” and Dominique’s reflexive post-club hymn “He Said” (full lyrics: “After hours on the dancefloor / He said / Somehow I like you / And in some way I want you”), both of which seem to propose an added sense of eminence and elegance that laymen would already know to be present in Efdemin and Pantha Du Prince. Instead, those tracks read like slightly lofty distractions from the main course. As per the rest, competence abounds (highlights include John Roberts’s “Lines”, Pigon’s “Koto”, and Carsten Jost’s “Days Gone By”) and though there are little surprises, there are also few comparisons to be had. There’s nothing on 2010 that couldn’t have been on a similar compilation called 2004, but there’s also nothing that couldn’t be on one called 2016. Dial have created a sound for the ages, particularly one that evokes that 3AM eternal, the moment when the air in club clears a bit. Though the dancing bodies aren’t as close at this point in the night, the music and the motion gets more intimate. This remains Dial’s specialty 10 years down the road.
// Notes from the Road
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