Continuing a strong run of form that has seen Future Times release music from Mosey, Jack J and Japa Habilidoso in 2015, Max D’s imprint drops a veritable treasure trove in the form of the third instalment of its Vibe compilation series. A quick scan of the tracklist reveals a smattering of tracks from artists already associated with the label (Juju & Jordash, Beautiful Swimmers and Steve Summers) alongside new additions to the family such as OV and Shanti Celeste. Split across three separate 12”s, the fourteen tracks are the most substantial offering from the label to date and, taken together, add up to one of the label’s finest moments so far.
The first of the three discs opens up with the stuttering funk and widescreen chords of ‘Junk Funk’ by newcomer OV, before the consistently excellent Juju & Jordash provide a moment of dancefloor psychedelia with ‘Soggy Bottom’ – all rumbling bass and delayed melodies, it’s an early highlight that sounds like something from one of their famed live sets. Over on the B-side, Grapes & Isle O’ Man provide smouldering dub, Max D gets weird with ‘Octopus’ and Raica delivers one of the compilation’s most spellbinding tracks with the gorgeous, vibraphone-heavy ‘Makmba’.
Over on the second 12”, Protect-U delivers a clattering storm of drums on the enigmatic ‘Krums’ and Jeremy Hyman pairs lurching techno drums with whirring chords on the restless ‘Machine Stops’. There is also a debut from another newcomer, Edy Alta, who turns in the driving ‘First Sign Of Artifice’, whichsounds something like a cross between New Age music and a Dance Mania record. Acting as the tonic to the high energy levels of these three tracks is ‘Primo’ by Beautiful Swimmers – a leftfield, vaguely balearic cut that journeys through unpredictable synth melodies and heavily processed vocal snippets.
The final disc opens with ‘Strung Up’ by Shanti Celeste. It’s probably the most dancefloor friendly track of the compilation with its snapping electro drums, but one that has enough original character to fit in with the rest of the music presented on the compilation, and is one of the finest she has put her name to so far. Elsewhere things get dreamy with tracks from Steve Summers, Dawit & Dolo and DSR.MR before ending on a timeless high with ‘New Years Eve 2013’ from C’est Life aka Jack J. It’s a fitting end to a compilation that oozes class and genuine originality.
Vibe 3 is forthcoming on Future Times and available to pre-order from Juno and most other online retailers.