Tru Thoughts gives me hope – hope that A&R isn’t relegated into an arcane art whispered about by old wizards with a foot in the grave. I can’t think of another label that releases as much new music and keeps me on edge with that bit of excitement every time I see a new release.

It makes sense for such a label to showcase some of its deep catalog cuts in a regular compilation; Shapes: Mountains is what’s called for. Compiled by Robert Luis, Shapes: Mountains flashes through Tru Thoughts’ roster like a searchlight hunting fugitives in a hedgerow, casting odd shadows even as it illuminates.

The word “eclectic” appeared four times in my notes through here – rather than the output of a single label, it sounds like a long, rambling playlist created by algorithmic robots born of the advanced technology of a future civilization. Certainly not ours: no human-made machine of the early 21st century would balance the demented hip hop Mardi Gras music of Hot 8 Brass Band’s “Can’t Nobody Get Down” remixed by Alphabets Heaven with the dramatic, cinematic shine of Ed West’s remix of Sly5thAve’s “Still D.R.E.” I can’t even give you a quick capsule: tempos range from sub-100 to 150bpm, bundled together in a blur, reaching the mythical point in acceleration when time appears to slow down. Nonames “Passing Time” with vocalist Alexa Harley (which we’ve covered in the past) also has a spot of honor here, enshrined between The Seshen’s “Distant Heart” (Wrongtom Remix) and Uniting of Opposite’s “Car Number 27/Mr. Alpo” remixed by Tim Deluxe (of “It Just Won’t Do” fame). I don’t think anyone really needs an introduction to Tru Thoughts anymore but Shapes: Mountains provides a racing postcard of they’ve been up to.

Shapes: Mountains / Tru Thoughts
1. Moonchild – The List 05:05
2. The Seshen – Distant Heart (Wrongtom Remix) 04:23
3. Uniting Of Opposites – Vortex Number 9 05:02
4. Rhi – Night Driving (Ivy Lab Remix) 03:15
5. Werkha – Glass Games feat. Bryony Jarman-Pinto 03:05
6. Space Captain – Blue 03:20
7. Te’Amir – Habesha 02:22
8. Sly5thAve – California Love feat. Cory Henry (Edit) 03:28
9. Quantic & Nidia Góngora – Ojos Vicheros 04:29
10. Hot 8 Brass Band – Can’t Nobody Get Down (Alphabets Heaven Remix) 04:25
11. Moonchild – Run Away (Eric Lau & Kaidi Tatham Remix) 03:28
12. Belleruche – It’ll Come 03:09
13. Quantic y Los Míticos del Ritmo – Hotline Bling 03:23
14. Wrongtom Meets The Ragga Twins – A GCSE In Dub 03:23
15. Prince Fatty Meets Nostalgia 77 – Little Steps Dub 04:27
16. The Seshen – All I Know (Rhi Mix) 02:37
17. Manu Delago – Freezing Point (Poppy Ackroyd Reimagining) 04:28
18. Hidden Orchestra – Wingbeats (Max Cooper Remix) 10:06
19. Nonames – Passing Time feat. Alexa Harley 04:19
20. J-Felix – J-Freq 05:23
21. Uniting Of Opposites – Car Number 27/Mr. Alpo (Tim Deluxe Remix) 09:51
22. Anchorsong – Testimony 03:54
23. Aurora Dee Raynes – Find My Way (Clean Version) 03:08
24. KXNGS – Air Sign 03:17
25. Jonny Faith – Backbeat 05:46
26. Quantic & Nidia Góngora – Amor en Francia (Sideswipe Remix) 03:36
27. Rhi – Cherry Glow (Chug Remix) 05:56
28. Magic Drum Orchestra – Original Nuttah feat. Bunty 06:09
29. Durrty Goodz – Foundation feat. Flowdan & Sharky Major 03:17
30. Flowdan – Bodybag feat. Irah 03:14
31. Sleepin’ Giantz – Raving Bully 03:24
32. Sly5thAve – Still D.R.E. (Ed West Remix) 05:02



5 Magazine Issue 165IN THE GROOVE: Originally published inside #5Mag165 featuring Danny J Lewis, Aakmael, Roman Zawodny & UKR, Nate Manic & more. Help support 5 Mag by becoming a member for just $1 per issue.