Between the time that I write this and the time you read this, more than a hundred mix compilations will be released. I don’t know anyone who buys them, and despite being I champion of this music, I can’t really recommend that they do.
A bright anomaly in this field is the latest installment of the Balance series – Balance 20 mixed by Deetron. “First and foremost, I wanted to choose tracks which can stand the test of time,” he says of the two disc set, “and not just represent the flavor of the moment. This also explains why the music comes from a wide range of genres and some tracks date back to as early as 1975. Ideally a mix CD should have a longer lifespan.”
Balance 20 comes at an interesting time in dance music, when the more soulful Deep House sound popular in the US, the UK and Africa is blending in with the techier deep sound of Europe. Deetron has always been in the forefront of this movement – he frequently appears as a remixer in support of Osunlade and upcoming Deep House artists like Ezel (“In My Lifetime,” one of my favorite tracks from Ocha Records).
“I find the exchange between the soulful and earthy sounds and the techier side of things very interesting,” he says. “I’m happy you mention the Ezel remix because it is my personal favorite [of my remixes]. Ever since the release of my album in 2006, I have been pushing the fusion of soulful vocals and Techno and there is certainly more to come.”
As for Balance 20, the idea is to show the full spectrum of Deetron’s sets, ranging from early evening gigs to peak hour to closing sessions, “with complete artistic freedom” in putting the tracklist together. And the man known for championing the legacy of vinyl and early Chicago and Detroit sounds gives the listener plenty to dig into here. “I wanted to represent both the digital side in the form of edited tracks, which I play from CDs at my gigs, as well as the analog side with the second CD, which is purely mixed with vinyl and dubplates of the exclusive tracks.
“At the end of the day it’s all about the music, no matter if it comes from a digital or analogue source, which is also why I chose to use both formats on my Balance mix. It can be considered a statement and I am by no means a vinyl purist but certainly a very passionate record collector and strong supporter of the format. I could simply not imagine deejaying without the physical aspect of vinyl and the raw and live edge to it, which is something I dearly miss very often when I hear digital only sets.”