LABEL: CROSSTOWN REBELSSCORE: 9/10
The last twelve months have undoubtedly been something of a breakthrough for Acid Pauli. From supporting Nicolaas Jaar at a sold-out Round House gig in the spring to releasing his debut album mst in the summer, the long serving German producer has finally started to earn some recognition beyond his hometown of Berlin. Now, closing the year in fitting style, he has taken to the helms for the latest instalment of Crosstown Rebel’s Get Lost mix series.
Expanding from last year’s offering from CTR head honcho Damian Lazarus, Get Lost V is a double disc affair (with an additional digital mix thrown in when you purchase the CD) that celebrates Pauli’s rampantly eclectic disposition. If you’ve seen him DJ or perform live, as he did at Lazarus’ recent 40th birthday bash, you’ll know that he’s got a reputation for disregarding dance-music convention. Whilst the term ‘idiosyncratic’ is a little too well-worn to hold much value in mix CD reviews, in this case it fits perfectly. Acid Pauli has built his reputation through his highly-textured and individualistic approach to crafting DJ sets, and this is exactly what is on offer here. Yet, whilst this might work in an eight-hour set in a smoky basement club in the German capital, how well does this approach transfer to the mix CD format? The answer is remarkably well. In fact, Get Lost V is the most interesting, engaging and innovative dance-music compilation I’ve listened to this year. The first disc sets the muted house and techno sounds that colour the compilation, with Kadebostan’s Love In Looxor and Pauli’s acid dub of Raz Ohara’sEl Zahir setting the swaggering yet meditative tone that narrates the opening mix. Yet, it’s difficult to suggest that there is one prevalent mood or sound through the first disc. Whilst retaining an aesthetic coherence the variation on offer, from Normal Brain’srobot-channeling M-U-S-I-C to Jan Turkenburg’s child choir on In My Spaceship, is startling. Unafraid to place unusual tracks next to each other, the result is a mix that is sign-posted with memorable moments. The steady kick drums and morose synth textures provide a steady momentum, tying the disparate elements together and giving the opening disc that unusual quality of being both highly-engaging ‘mind music’ whilst pumping out a beat that I defy anyone not to want to shake to. Impressive. The second disc offers even more variation, if you can believe that. Opening with pacier cuts from dOP, Pele & Stojan and Acid Pauli himself, the tempo soon slows down with introspective and shuffling numbers from Taron Trekka and Amirali. The last third provides a satisfying, slow-burning conclusion. From Calico Horse’s acoustic cover of Radiohead’s Idioteque to the mournful electronica conclusion of Lake Powel, by way of fine cuts from Autechre, Metrika, Console and BlackIsBeautiful, Pauli rounds up proceedings with the best enigmatic dance numbers you probably haven’t heard before. One thing this compilation is not is a peak-time party album. There’s no dance floor destroyers here, or high-octane bangers. But that’s not the point here, and it’s certainly not the case that you can’t dance to this record. The fine weave of synths, chords and kicks make this the perfect end-of-night choice. Introspective yet with a sustained dedication for 4/4 beats, Get Lost V is a testament to the intelligent and considered dance-music comings from figures like Nicolas Jaar, Stimming and Pauli himself. A beautiful, intricate mix that offers as much depth as it does width, Get Lost V is an album that invites obsessive repeat listens, compelling the listener to pick up on tiny flourishes and details that they missed the time before. Acid Pauli should be very pleased with himself; this is one of the most enjoyable, engaging and well considered compilations of the year.