We Have To Go Back (8 Years of StrippedMuzikClub)

Artist: Various (Mixed and Compiled by Dibby Dougherty)
Title: We Have To Go Back (8 Years of StrippedMuzikClub)
Label : Stripped Recordings
Cat No : 009-SRLP 1
Release : 25/11/13

Genre : House/Progressive House

The success of labels like Stripped comes down to the excellent work of the back room staff like A&R/Label Manger Norman Hines. He is a breed of A&R missing from many digital labels in that his quality radar is set really high. What this means for his label is that only the best producers make the cut and his output can be seen by many as a benchmark for what an underground house label should sound like. So it was with equal measures of excitement and trepidation that I began to listen through Stripped’s first label back cat showcase – We Have to go Back. A glorious double CD boasting a whopping 49 tracks from Stripped Recordings, Stripped Digital and Hype Muzik lovingly moulded together by label mate and stellar DJ in his own right Dibby Dougherty. The track list reads like a who’s who of underground talent from South American progressive artists like Juan Deminicis and Yamil Colluci to home grown UK stars like Steve McCreedy (Smak) and Namespace.

CD One starts off with the utterly beguiling ambient tones of Days Off – Geminus (Island Edit) full of eastern wails and far off melancholy, from there on in its a deep warm up groove taking in 2 tracks from the aforementioned Juan Deminicis and 4 from the ever prolific Steve McCreedy.
Unlike many label showcase CDs, Norman has also licensed new material rather than lazily relying on back catalogue titles. As we head further into CD 1 the vibe mutates into a more disco-y sound and shows very well the depth and quality of the labels output. Dibby’s mixing is pretty special too, rather than just mix each track together, you can hear him looping, editing and crafting a cohesive mix from disparate parts, theres even a vocal sample from one of Dibby’s own productions The Others – Dub Shepherd (but Im not telling you where!). Its a labour of love in an already over saturated market of indetikit, mass produced, just play the hits mix compilations and its attention to detail makes it head and shoulders more impressive. Midway through CD One Dibby puts the brakes on and we are treated to some amazing downtempo prog from Edvard MonoGram among others. The CD finishes apace though with cuts from Pete Gooding, Andy Kneale and the excellent Norman H & Minoru Hirata – La Bufadora (ThermalBear ReThink) which I’m kicking myself I missed..

CD Two is an altogether different beast. Form the opening bars of Darren Flecta – Emitting White Light (Deepfunk Remix) this was always going to be the peak time mix. It grooves along powerfully, taking in a smorgasbord of progressive house names. Highlights include Yamil Coculli – Bacteriana (Deepfunk Remix) with its low slung bass and nagging synth work, Smak – In the Beginning featuring the wonderful voice of Ryan Vail in 2 versions – Ivan Picazo and ThermalBear and Yoshitaca – Manipulator, full of boisterous Detroit Techno charm. Everything about CD Two exudes quality and shows progressive house is alive and well in 2013. Where CD One was experimental and refreshing, CD Two is pure heads down, party central fodder, however, it never looses its head and the ride is expertly controlled over the mammoth 27 tracks by a truly inspired DJ and entertainer.

Over the last 25 years of listening to dance music compilation CDs, the ones for me that stand out aren’t filled with hits. They are the ones where a little care and attention has been taken to the contents, where the music is the defining factor and not the headline name. Its the small details which can make or break these albums and this one has all the star qualities in spades. With the holiday season fast approaching, do yourselves and your dance music loving friends a favour and buy this album. You won’t be disappointed.

CD One
01 Days Off – Geminus [Island Edit ]
02 Dunkan Disco – The Edge
03 Juan Deminicis – Heartless
04 Juan Deminicis – Esperanza
05 Projekt Inertia – Love For The Masses
06 Martin Virgin – Beautiful
07 Martin Virgin – Music
08 Smak [aka Steve McCready] – Audio Input

09 Days Off – Geminius [Michael King Remix]
10 Yamil Colluci – Southfest [Moojaa Dream Sequence Remix]
11 Soulhoppers – Spell
12 Martin Virgin – Trippin To The Stars

13 Edvard MonoGram – Peace On Earth [Beatless Version]
14 Erdi Irmak feat. Amy Capilari – Across The Sky
15 Projekt Inertia – Underneath Us
16 Pete Gooding & Tyrell D – It Goes Boom [Amine Edge & DANCE Remix]
17 Norman H,Minoru Hirata – La Bufadora [ThermalBear ReThink]
18 Tom Eales, Delta 7even feat Ella – Illuminate [Lo-Tek Remix]
19 Smak [aka Steve McCready] – Feeling
20 Andy Kneale – We Thought Kraftwerk Was Robots [Oki Noki Remix]
21 Smak [aka Steve McCready] – Assault
22 Smak [aka Steve McCready] – Lights Out

CD Two
01 Darren Flecta – Emitting White Light [Deepfunk Remix]
02 Diyo – New Old [Edvard Monogram Space Mix]
03 Yamil Colucci – Bactriana [Deepfunk Remix]
04 Namespace – The Sentinel [Jim Rivers Remix]
05 Mehmet Akar – The Light Goes On [Ioan Gamboa Remix]
06 Luciano Benz – De Mi Sec
07 Smak [aka Steve McCready] – Hurry Up

08 Ian O’Donovan – Calypsa
09 Vanyano – Memories [Juan Deminicis Remix]
10 Erdi Irmak – Alive
11 Smak (aka Steve McCready) featuring Ryan Vail – In The Beginning [Ivan Picazo The Sun After Storm Remix]*
12 Verche – Sparkling Water [Diyo Remix]
13 Neil Quigley – The Mean Reds [Ian O’Donovan Remix]
14 Repton – Jejeje
15 Nomad In The Dark – Control

16 Pete Gooding, John Moss, Mike Moorish – Say Goodbye
17 Smak (aka Steve McCready) featuring Ryan Vail – In The Beginning [ThermalBear ReThink]
18 The Horses – Acid Village [Smak (aka Steve McCready) Peaked Remix]
19 Smak [aka Steve McCready] – Acid Warriors
20 Delta 7even – Yin Yang
21 Dunkan Disco – Groove Tonight [CH1M3R4 Rework]
22 Diyo – New Old [Piyush Awasthi Remix]
23 Guy Mantzur & Sahar Z – Cotton Candy [Verche Remix]
24 La Torre – J’ai Essaye [No Comprende][La Torre Mix]
25 Ian O’Donovan – Reign Orion
26 Yoshitaca – Manipulator [Original Mix]
27 Dibby Dougherty & David Young – The Black Smoke [Dibby’s SwanOutro]