VARIOUS ARTISTS – HIGHER GROUND

Artist : Various Artists

Title : Higher Ground (6 Years of Wide Angle Recordings)

Label : Wide Angle Recordings

Release : 21/01/2014

Genre: Techno/Progressive House/Electronica

Review by Andy Howarth

Hailing from Canada, Wide Angle Recordings pride themselves on being a record label that focuses on quality electronic music with heart. According to their motto, they “specialize in melodic techno and progressive house and work closely with our artists to deliver music that is consistently fresh and undeniably original”. Their output in the past has included works from the likes of Mateo Murphy,  Max Cooper, Deepfunk and Lanny May to name but a few, so they’ve definitely got the names to back up the credentials.

This new ‘Higher Ground’ release showcases some of the sounds that have stood out from the 6 years they have been in business, as well as some original new material that signals the direction they intend to head in the coming months. Delving the depths of the LP immediately reveals just how serious they are about their commitment to quality, and you will struggle to find finer examples of progressive and emotive House music anywhere else. Lush soundscapes, deep basslines, and ethereal chords are delivered in their legions and the intricacy of the productions is mesmerising.

There’s reverbed bleepy atmospherics from PHM with ‘Until The Seas Run Dry’ that should keep the Eulberg contigent satisfied, Max Cooper flexes his Progressive muscles as he’s drafted in for the remix of Maxime Miville’s ‘Don’t Ask’, and even the master of immersive House, Kosmas Epsilon, makes an appearance with his melancholic rework of Ehohroma’s ‘Noise Of An Empty Bottle’. Make no mistake, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to music to stir the imagination. However, my personal favourite from this package would have to be an quirky instrumental cut from Dual Shamen. His epic ambient short ‘Aether’ beautifully straddles the gap between Trance and Electronica, and it’s the sort of track that might be just enough to convince you that there’s still some artists out there flying the flag for real honest Progressive House, when all around us the genre is being polluted and rebranded for the EDM-hugging demographic.

A superbly accomplished package from Wide Angle, and one you could just as easily get lost in at home on the stereo, as level dancefloors with in the nightclub.


About the Author

Born of the Oxfordshire countryside, Andy has always preferred the quaint aspects of life around a historic city to the hustle and bustle of places like London or Birmingham. That said, the desire to satisfy his thirst for live music has led to him fleeing the tranquility of rural life on a regular basis, in favour of regions where the nightlife doesn't have to come to an abrupt end at 3am.