Artist: Paolo Mojo
Title: Balance 009
Label: EQ Grey
By: Jason Calvert | 17 May 2006
  1. Kayot - One Night In Cuba (Intro Edit)
  2. Audiomontage - Naughty Neighbour
  3. Eddie Richards - M’Baby
  4. Weekender - Sunday Session
  5. Alex Kid - Pick it Up
  6. Soul Edge - Wormhole (Throatcutters EP)
  7. Lil Mike - Space Cadet
  8. Mish Mash - Speechless (Three 'Lost In Translation' Mix)
  9. Trick & Kubik Feat Valeska - Easy
  10. Shirley Lites - Heat You Up (Melt You Down) (Gerd '4 Lux' Mix)
  11. Harold Heath - Long Relationships (Asad Rivzi Mix)
  12. Wighnomy Bros - Wombat
  13. Timewriter - Lion Steps
  14. Davina - Don't You Want It
  15. Underground Resistance - Transitions
  16. Vincenzo & Steve Ferrand - Love the Madness
  17. Pepe Braddock - Deep Burnt

Paolo Mojo "Balance 009"Paolo Mojo "Balance 009"

Out Now on EQ Grey

"Balance". What does the word bring to your mind? In terms of electronic music, if the word "Balance" does not conjure up images of the finest the scene has to offer, then you may need to take a step back to re-evaluate. Into their ninth volume in the series, Australian label EQ Grey have without a doubt crafted one of the hottest compilation series doing the rounds lately. There really isn't one volume out of line in the series, and with the choice of Paolo Mojo to mix the next volume, most people had strong faith that the mix would carry the name well. And it certainly does. Paolo Mojo may be a name which has only sprung up within the past few years, but in that time he has managed to capture audiences across the globe with his skilful mixing and dislike for classification. Someone who plays what they feel regardless of what others call it is forward thinking. Someone who pulls this off whilst making people go "wow" is a DJ. And Paolo proves he is one hell of a DJ here on this CD.

The blissful effects on Kayot's "One Night In Cuba" swiftly whisk us away to a tropical paradise, and as the percussion slowly hits us, the scene is set which magnificent class. Mojo obviously wants it to feel sexy and it certainly does. This classy lounge groove continues into Eddie Richards' "M'Baby", and slowly the atmosphere begins to grow. It then really takes off on Alex Kid's "Pick It Up" when the electro stabs hit and are complemented by a cheeky vocal running through.

Mojo keeps up a theme of house infused electro (or electro infused house?) throughout this portion of the disk. However, by the time we hit Mish Mash's "Speechless", Mojo has led us into deep techy territory, which is something I wouldn't have pictured from the onset. It displays an unpredictable nature to his skill, as the transitions between styles don't affect the flow at all, and it makes the mix as a whole very interesting.

Smooth guitar riffs hit from underneath on one of the standout tracks of the disk, "Easy" by Trick & Kubrick. The sounds are hot and wet, and this is topped off by the sly vocal work of Valeska. An interesting addition is the hip-hop-esque vocals of Harold Heath on "Long Relationships". As this is wrapped around the house grooves though it works itself in well. The familiar sounds on Timewriter's "Lion Steps" work up their usual frenzy and find themselves more than welcome here.

As the disk tones itself down, it is brought to closure by Pepe Braddock's "Deep Burnt", which emphasizes a classy mood, and leaves the listener feeling very refreshed without being overworked. The disk managed to keep an excellent vibe running throughout, with some surprises thrown in for good measure! The only task now is to keep up this level of quality throughout the second disk!

Paolo is sure to put a smile on everyone's face by opening the CD with the highly positive tone of "Ruckus". A perfect warmer giving out warm vibes to get everyone in the mood. The grooves heard throughout "Midnight Mood" and "The Drum" are distinctively deeper than those heard on disk 1, and it becomes evident that Mojo is really getting down to business, with dirty basslines and sexy fx being the key.

Throwing some electro infusion in for good measure, Buick Project's remix of "Ruckus" provides an interesting challenge to the original, and whilst ultimately not being as strong, it does work up that electro sweat being craved by so many across the globe as of late. And so that's why Mojo takes his listeners back in time a little for "Say It", where the nostalgic acidity of the riffs is sure to evoke many fond memories. The track was originally written sometime in the mid 80's if i recall correctly. This brand spanking new rework of it is an absolute killer, and most certainly a high point of the disk. Anyone who's been into the scene for that little bit longer will be in their element by this point on the disk.

Cass & Mangan's new electro pusher sound is showcased on their rework of Mojo's own "Everybody", where the sample & hold efx are in full force. Der Dritte Raum continue this sound throughout "Raumzeit", but clean their act up slightly. A small skit-type section appears pushing the ever familiar vocal from Foremost Poets' "Moonraker" which many of you reading this no doubt got dirty to a few years back. The vocal is pitched down to give it a new feel, and it provides a great bridge as we lead into perhaps what is one of the most epic breakdowns I've heard on a compilation in a long time.

The lo-fi synths are enough to send shivers down your spine as the reprised version of Nathan Fake's "The Sky Was Pink" hits and the beat disappears. Add to this the vocal of Robert Owens on "I'll Be Your Friend" echoing through, and it is truly one of the most epic moments I have witnessed on a Balance compilation to date. As the melodies slowly fade out, Dee-Lite takes hold with "Good Beat", which is layered over the beautiful percussive synths of Michael Mayer and Tobias Thomas on their remix of Ada's "Maps".

The mood then begins to slow down with Funk D'Void's smooth take on Michel De Hey's "Camera". Then, as you think the disk is going to end in a similar vein, Mojo drops a personal favourite of mine, which goes extremely deep; Sebastien Tellier's "La Ritournelle". If you sit down and listen to the latter part of this disk in depth with full concentration, it would not surprise me if the beauty of it all brought you to tears. Simply amazing.

I have just reviewed what is easily in my opinion the hottest Balance compilation to hit the series. From the word go the album gets everything right. The first disk leads us through a mixture of electro and sexy house without working up too much of a sweat, and then the second disk really explodes. For those who can appreciate the older influences creeping through on the second disk, it is a breathtaking experience. Add to this an ingenious breakdown and breathtaking finale, and we have what is (and will be for some time to come) the benchmark for which compilations should be judged. This is how it should be done, and Paolo receives my utmost respect for this effort. You just need to read a few of the past Balance reviews here on the site to understand the quality which underlies them. The series is only getting stronger, so who knows where they will be in the future! A very exciting prospect indeed.

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