Monza Club Ibiza Compilation Vol. 1
ost techno/minimal mix CDs are boring. It’s not hard to see why: more and more of these mixes are being crafted on computers rather than turntables, scrubbed clean of any mistakes and, in the process, their humanity. Listening to a DJ play in a club is a symbiotic thing—the DJ feeds off the crowd’s energy and in turn directs the set towards the tunes that are garnering the biggest reactions. I’m not sure exactly when the mix CD went away from trying to recapture that energy to trying to sound like something programmed by sticking a bunch of ingredients into a computer, but here we are. The selections are predictable, the mixes almost robotic, and they’re missing the one thing that made DJ sets such an interesting thing to begin with: mistakes.
British DJ Heidi Van Den Amstel may not have mixed her Monza Club Ibiza Compilation Vol. 1 live in a club or even on actual decks for that matter. She may not even make any “mistakes,” but she more than makes up for it with her fresh and intriguing selections and creative transitions. The mix features the latest electronic dancefloor grooves, mixed with a flair and sense of adventure. Heidi seems less worried about making things sound like one long track as she is with having fun and entertaining—something that has been sorely missing of late in the genre and especially appropriate given that this CD is Ibiza-related/inspired.
Much of the “spontaneous” feel comes from the slightly unconventional track selection. It all falls loosely under the minimal techno umbrella (save a track or two), but it traverses the boundaries of the genre. The first surprise is the lead track itself, Carl Craig’s remix of Maurizio’s classic “Domina,” which is more than a decade old—not exactly a tactic normally taken on today’s hypermodern, gotta-have-the-newest-shit mix discs.
Don’t misunderstand, however: there’s plenty of the latest and greatest, from Marc Houle’s brand new “Bay of Figs” to a track from Heidi (vs. Riton) herself, “Vejer.” In between, she hits deep tech house (Kerri Chandler), jazzy shit (Cobblestone Jazz’s mighty “Dump Truck”), and even a pop tune (Hot Chip). Though she ranges far and wide, Heidi’s mixing skills bring it all together and there’s nary a missed beat or lazy ambient breakdown in earshot.
Monza Club Ibiza isn’t perfect. For one thing, I absolutely cannot stand that Fuckpony track on here, and there are one or two other clunkers. That being said, I can forgive Heidi simply because the concept itself is such a refreshing change of pace, bringing that club feeling to your living room (or car or dorm or iPod or what have you). And when you get right down to it, isn’t that what mix CDs are supposed to be all about in the first place?