Review – The Global Underground Afterhours series is back after 8 year long hiatus

Artist : Various
Title : Afterhours
Label : Global Underground
Release : 22nd April 2016
Genre : Electronica

About a week and a half ago I got an email that basically made my day. Andrew, GU’s label manager, informed me that Afterhours was coming back! It’s been a long 8 year hiatus, but finally Global Underground’s eclectic electronic album series is making a return.

For me personally, it was by far their best series. Sure the City series were good, but unless you were really there and the album represented a snapshot of your clubbing life, over time they would become ‘just another mix CD’. Afterhours were different. Afterhours presented new music in a totally different way, and were always more than the sum of their parts. One year in the making, GU have curated, edited, re-edited, remixed, layered and polished over 30 tracks on two continuous mixes to bring you a stunning soundtrack to the party after the party. Release is set for April 22nd 2016 in a specially designed and packaged CD format and digital download.

Featuring tracks from artists new and old, it seamlessly marries beautifully melodic melancholy ambience like Superpitcher’s ‘Moon Fever’ in its Lawrence guise with pop shoe gaze songsters Ambassaduers and incredible, timeless 808 acid electro like Ewan Pearson‘s remake of Craig Bratley ‘Mannequin’ with brilliant deep house remixes like the super talented Kevin Over re-imagination of Cristoph’s ‘Moments’. These kinds of mixes are never easy to put together, all too quickly they can become warm up style affairs where the energy gradually rises, but this is a chilled mix; the energy should undulate.

Deep into the mix and the cowbell lead of Capablanca & T.Keller’s La Konk Fiesta take us into new territory, followed up with the brilliantly kooky We Are Enfant Terrible and onwards into wonky techno. Reform School’s ‘Reality Interlude’ acts as the perfect antithesis to all before it and sets ups the last quarter of the first mix brilliantly. Energy reset, we end the CD with deep melodic lushness from Kiasmos, Arturo Hevia and a triumphant Dele Sosimi & Afrobeat Orchestra.

CD2 opens in mournful piano reverberance, declaring its “ready to go”. Dino Lenny has always been a favourite of mine, and with the addition of Doorly – one of dance music’s true underground heroes – the second mix is already shaping up to be a monster! Much like CD1, this mix disregards the need for showcasing cutting edge music only, and segues the super fresh with timeless underground gems lost on many. GU have always done this; been a DJs DJ about the mixes they curate. Track three, Baxendale – I Built This City (Michael Mayer Mix) is a perfect example of this. Whereas CD1 was quite eclectic and the tempo shifted many times, CD2 is more considered. Tracks weave in and out of the mix creating little e-moments from nothing and dropping a new bass line or melodic element in to draw new attention to the linear.

The break at 26 minutes feels vast after a consistent beat: Scuba’s ‘Drift’ working as a respite and energy shift. Arturo Hevia, Joris Voorn, Roland Klinkenberg and Remy Unger provide the deep progressive soundscapes in the middle section, featuring a Dub version of the recently re-released ‘Mexico Can Wait’. Things toughen up with Alex Niggemann’s brilliantly grimy bass line led ‘Angular’ and the incredibly talented Habischman with ‘All I Dream’ before another Selador favourite Tom Peters ‘Two of Us (Tim Englehardt Remix)’ begins the final phase. Deetron’s Detroit focused remix of ‘Until I Dissolve’ and Solee’s orchestral ‘Maercheninsel’ blisses us out right to the final bar.

Wow, what a trip! I’m so glad this series has returned, its full of great music that doesn’t always make it on to charts and podcasts because it’s a little leftfield or eccentric, but thats why its perfect for the after hours when the world is a bit more fuzzy and musical prejudices are forgotten. Bravo GU, another resounding success!

CD1
01// Superpitcher – Moon Fever (Lawrence Ambient Mix)
02// Gidge – Dusk
03// Ambassadeurs – Looking At You feat. C Duncan
04// Rival Consoles – Recovery (Vessels Remix)
05// BP – Diatonic Gin
06// Craig Bratley – Mannequin (Ewan Pearson Mix)
07// Cristoph – Moments (Kevin Over Sputnikschock Mix)
08// Tanimura Midnight – The Six
09// Munk – Kitchen Call (Daniel Avery Remix)
10// Flash Atkins – Levenshulme Orphanage For Boys
11// Capablanca & T.Keeler – La Konk Fiesta
12// We Are Enfant Terrible – Filthy Love (The Shoes Remix)
13// Lydmor & Bon Homme – Dream of Fire (Johannes Brecht Remix)
14// Stephan Bodzin – Sungam (Synthapella)
15// Reform School – Reality Interlude
16// Kiasmos – Looped
17// Arturo Hevia – Verano De San Juan
18// Dele Sosimi & Afrobeat Orchestra – Too Much Information (Laolu Remix)

CD2
01// Dino Lenny & Doorly – The Magic Room (Dino Lenny Remix)
02// The Glitz – Friends
03// Baxendale – I Built This City (Michael Mayer Mix)
04// Johnson – Sick House (Rich Lane Chug Dub)
05// Scuba – Drift
06// Arturo Hevia – Atacama Dream
07// Joris Voorn – Left (Roland Klinkenberg Remix)
08// Roland Klinkenberg feat. DJ Remy – Mexico Can Wait (Roland’s Dub)
09// Aera – Freak Wave
10// Matrixxman – Augmented
11// Alex Niggemann – Angular
12// Habischman – All I Dream
13// Tom Peters – Two Of Us (Tim Engelhardt Remix)
14// Eric Volta & Gaika – Until I Dissolve (Deetron Remix)
15// Solee – Maercheninsel