A masterpiece of innovative music that will undoubtably stand the test of time, the new ‘In Order To Dance 4.0’ album from R&S Records is attracting high praise from industry heavyweights worldwide. It’s little wonder; testament to label boss Renaat Vandepapeliere’s curation skills, this ‘must-listen’ compilation achieves the seemingly impossible, pulling together trailblazing tracks across numerous genres into one beautifully fluid and stunningly cohesive album.
Now in its 40th year, R&S and pioneering electronic music are as synonymous as Messi and football. You can barely speak of one without mentioning the other, such is the label’s impact on the scene. Celebrating the Belgian label’s milestone anniversary and, in essence, a showcase of next-generation artists, ‘In Order To Dance 4.0’ is a timely reminder of where the label has come from and where it is going next.
Across its impressive history, R&S has launched artists like James Blake, Lone and Blawan, offered a European home to US greats like Derrick May and Joey Beltram (whose classic ‘Energy Flash’ on R&S remains one of techno’s biggest-ever tunes) and even worked with the untouchable Aphex Twin, all while offering an endlessly high quality stream of innovative techno. More recently the imprint’s sounds have evolved to encompass hip-hop and lo-fi soul, but the label’s famous prancing horse logo remains a respected stamp of authority whatever the genre.
Featuring the best in house and new beat, the first ‘In Order To Dance’ compilation came back in 1989, with each artist A&Red by Vandepapeliere. While sweeping changes have dramatically transformed the electronic music scene throughout the years, Vandepapeliere’s expert ear remains as finely tuned as ever.
‘In Order To Dance 4.0’ kicks off with the stirring electronic soul of Hyphen’s ‘Winter Sky’. It’s awash with melodic beauty and elegant beats that get you on your toes before Paul Roux’s ‘Baptéme’ leads you inwards, with smeared chords conveying brokenhearted melancholy over heavy broken beats. From that artful start, Subject 13 & Conscious Route showcase R&S’s other side on ‘Dripping Sauce’ — an irresistible dancefloor sensibility with sleazy bars over ghetto beats. There is skewed futurism to the frosty hip-hop of Nphonix & Matrika’s ‘Rumble Around’, which embodies the evolution of the R&S sound, while Saytek’s ‘IYNDUB01 (Live)’ douses you in warm dub currents as you gaze off to the stars.
The mid-point is marked by the playful melodies and vocals of ‘Did This’, a truly original cut from Dino Lenny, while label purists will love the twisted beats and cosmic synth sorcery of Vromm’s ‘Red Tuna’, the punchy techno elegance of Insider’s ‘Something Flash’, and the raved-up energy of ‘Hold On’ by Pascal Nuzzo. Things get even more visceral and direct with the frazzled jungle rhythms supplied by Som.1’s ‘Ultimatum’ before the soulful breaks and chords on Dharma’s ‘Structured Chaos’ provide room for thought. Adam Antine’s ‘Sortavala’ is a funky breaks workout and Acidulant closes things out with ‘Make Love to a Machine’, a coruscated acid-electro cut designed to rip up the floor.
A series of cutting-edge music videos accompany this new wave of ‘In Order To Dance 4.0’ tracks, with acclaimed video producers and directors, including Pierre Plouzeau, Alessandro Amaducci, Ben Marlowe and Gala Mirissa, all stamping their digital artistic visions onto these stunning compositions. The first ‘In Order To Dance’ compilation was pivotal in the early evolution of electronic music, and 40 years on this installment is just as important.
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