Lee Curtiss - Watergate 08
With Watergate hitting the eighth volume in its mix series, it's instructive to look back. Or is it? The only thing that binds together Onur Özer, Sascha Funke, Konrad Black and the rest asked to make a mix CD for the Berlin club seem to be the words "house" and "techno." (And having played at the club at one point or another.) 4/4 is a unifying concept, sure. But the mix CD is an increasingly outdated one. If you don't have a reason behind what you're doing—other than promotion for club and DJ—then how is it much different than a podcast?
Lee Curtiss's Watergate 08 isn't all that different at first glance. You get a few exclusives, an edit here and there. Looking over the tracklist—nearly two months after its release—that's hardly the enticement. What makes Watergate 08 interesting—maybe even important—is two things: 1) It's a pretty solid example of where house music is at the moment and 2) It further cements Visionquest's sound at the forefront of the genre.
It's hard to say whether this is Curtiss' "mature" style. Listen back to his discography, and you can trace a certain strain of house and techno over the past decade. (Dude was making the hard stuff back in the day, moved on to minimal and ended up here.) Along with his fellow Visionquesters, though, it certainly feels like they've ended up where they wanted to be—finally fluent, they're finally speaking their own language, rather than aping others. That's why it's no surprise that he's enlisted plenty of his buds on this mix. Shaun Reeves, Ryan Crosson, Tale Of Us and some of the extended Crosstown/Hot Natured family all make appearances, and their sound defines the mix.
A bit slow(er), a bit sexy, a bit melodic. It's what has made Visionquest (and Crosstown and Hot Natured) a "thing" over the past few years or so. Jamie Jones' forthcoming fabric mix CD is a further definition of what this sound is all about. Watergate 08 serves as an example too. (Perhaps Visionquest's rumored fabric CD will be the culmination?) Whether Watergate 08 turns out as a footnote amid all of this is anyone's guess. As one of the first officially released mix CDs that captures house music's move towards poppier climes, though, it might just have a better reason for existing than almost anything you'll hear this month.
Words: Sam Louis
01. Lee Curtiss - Drivin' / Jazzler AKA Dixie Yure - Beth & The Gamma Ray's Fields
02. No Regular Play - Walking (Next To Me) (Shaun Reeves Remix)
03. Maceo Plex - Fallin' (live cut)
04. Footprintz - The Things That Last Forever (Lee Curtiss Feets Up Edit)
05. Guy Gerber - Hate Love (Maayan Nidam Remix)
06. Maceo Plex - Your Style
07. dOP - After Party (Le Loup Remix)
08. Footprintz - The Favorite Game (Lee Curtiss Feets Still Up Edit)
09. Alex Smoke - Make My Day (Ryan Crosson Morning Sorrow Remix)
10. dOP - Your Sex
11. Whomadewho - Every Minute Alone (Tale Of Us Remix)
12. James Teej - Daytime Ringer
13. Hot Natured feat. Ali Love - Forward Motion
14. Kim Ann Foxman - What You Need
Released: August 2011