[6 May 2009]
Live albums and DJ mixes are both getting pretty hard to sell these days. When every show is bootlegged so easily (and with increasing sound quality), and DJs stream free mixes by the thousands, it’s hard to justify expecting someone to pay for music that isn’t original and from the studio (and even then…). So, it’s ballsy to have seen German club Watergate launch a new series of mixes in the past year. Then again, as London’s Fabric has proved, there’s a market for this kind of thing, especially if you get the cream of the crop at the decks.
Sascha Funke is certainly creamy on Watergate 02, which feels more ambient and chilled out than you might expect a techno mix to be. Rather than beat us over the head with beats and samples, as he become the folly of many of present-day mix, Funke eases softly into his set here, with a spacious Four Tet remix of Nathan Fake’s “You Are Here”, and Miss Kittin’s dreamy take on Ellen Allien’s “Alles Sehen”. Things heat up a bit by the time we get to harder beats and tribal bongo breaks from the likes of Minilogue & Cab and the Wighnomy Brothers, plus there’s Dave Aju’s “Crazy Place”, the triumph of vocal percussion that might as well come with the label “for mid-set buildups and peaks”. Funke ends things on a real high note, going back to the early ‘90s with the Acid Jesus edit of Milch’s, er, housey “Housefrau”. Watergate 02 is the best of laid back and funky—that rare mix that one keeps coming back to, the best of the old, new, and in between.