Wednesday, 7 September 2011

The Timeliness of Mix CDs

Lawrence of Hamburg has released a mix CD - yup - on Sven "a-pill-an-hour-keeps-Sven-at-full-power" Vath's Cocoon label. Entitled Timeless and filled with plenty of classics (Aril Brikha, Delano Smith, Plaid) and fresh(ish) contributions from Lawrence's Dial/Laid/Smallville chums (Isolee, Pigon, Smallpeople and Rau), it's a hark back to the glory days of mix CDs, particularly those released by Kompakt.

The title alone is more than a subtle nod to Michael Mayer's timeless mix Immer ('Always'), and the tracklist, mood and pace all recall mix CDs by Mayer, Tobias Thomas and Triple R. Most of the tracks are great, mixing is tight, and the flow effortless, but why does it sound so boring? There's something constrained, preordained and squashed about it, such that it sounds almost lifeless. Maybe this is the only way forward for mix CDs, a closed, flat, tightly mastered product, based closely on the medium's turn-of-the-century prime. How else can they compete with podcasts?

That said it's probably the sort of mix I dream of making, given the number of tracks off it I own, but mine 'come alive' with all that sloppy mixing, dirty records and hiss.

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