I feel that approaching a review for a Defected Records album release would be to attempt to review for visiting aliens, as I would be under the assumption that anyone taking a second of time to look at this review will know that having the Defected name on a compilation album is like a royal stamp of approval. Most Rated 2017 comes at the end of a particularly poignant year for the label, having released its 500th track a little while back with Dennis Ferrer’s brilliant ‘Bubbletop’, which incidentally heads up the three disc compilation on CD One.
Starting with that benchmark release shows a statement of intent from the get go as you move on to Disclosure’s sneaky little non album release ‘BOSS’, which is then followed by one of my favourite tracks of the year by Defected alumni Sonny Fodera’s You & I’. Of course there are more alumni features across the album with music from Sam Divine and Sandy Rivera, who has been releasing music on the label for over ten years.
Looking at the tracklist alone you can see a huge smattering of cool, in acts like Kiddy Smile, Black Motion and Solardo and elsewhere familiar acts that may even have brought the aliens here in the first place: Duke Dumont, Ultra Nate and Mighty Dub Katz, being one of Norman Cook’s many pseudonyms.
As much as the quality control across the album is more than on point, it may be worth pointing out that it would take an open minded house head, or alien, to enjoy both the huge crossover track ‘Trouble’ by offaiah and also the absolutely bonkers, but amazing ‘Wonky Bassline Disco Banger’ by Red Rack’em. This is a small criticism though and generally speaking the entire collection walks the fine line between Radio One playlists and sweaty intimate little clubs and I can assure you that is no mean feat to pull off.
If you are after an album of huge chart hits and soundalike nonsense, then it’s best to look elsewhere, but if you fancy a carefully curated collection of quality house music then Most Rated 2017 is for you.