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If you are not familiar with 22Tracks, I strongly suggest you add it to your bookmarks bar.

22tracks.com is all about curating. It’s a jukebox consisting of 22 playlists of different genres. Each playlist is filled with 22 tracks selected by specialized DJ’s from Amsterdam, Brussels, London and Paris. In this way 22tracks quickly overviews the latest music, promotes new artists and lets you discover new genres. No registration, no hassle. New music: the easy way.”

So, an ever-evolving and ever-changing selection of 22 playlists by a dedicated set of trusted DJs. Not a bad idea. As far as a guaranteed positive listening experience goes, the chances of success is pretty high, as this type of moderated ‘in-house’ playlist submission shields the casual listener from potentially unsatisfactory music (in the same way as unmoderated Soundcloud groups / Last.fm does not).

So, what is significant about this compilation? It is the first ever  compilation released by 22Tracks, only a couple of months ago. Each track was submitted by fans of 22Tracks Amsterdam, purposely for this compilation. Rather than just having the ability to stream (as is the rule for all 22Tracks playlists), you can download the whole thing for free (well, in exchange for a social media contribution, but that’s free, right?!). Also, all of the contributing producers are Dutch, and heavy players in the future / dubstep / dance scene in the Netherlands. The biggest names for me (mainly due to my visit to the Netherlands last year at the Born Digital festival) are Julien Mier (previously reviewed on Netlabelism), fedbymachines, and Krampfhaft.

Lots of garage, lots of dubstep, lots of future beats, but it’s all quite luxuriously injected by a distinctive musicianship which I have highly admired in Dutch electronic music production. There are few tracks on this compilation which are mindless and baron. None of this “beats first, ask questions later” (which leaves me feeling cold and trodden). It does not exhibit numb brain-hemorrhage-inducing drum sounds and big yet lonely basslines. Each track sprouts melodic passages and quirky harmonies. Sounds used are sonically tasteful, yet in most cases are bright and sharp enough to make it onto the dancefloor. There is enough variety between tracks to keep things moving, whilst there is still an addictive coherence between each offering.

Highlights: Of course, Julien’s track, which dazzles my mind even after the 10th listen. Vincent-Polo’s ‘Grey Goose’ is a very pleasant opener, which melts into a fuzzy and loving chord sequence which I am a big fan of. Boeboe’s criminal bass-heavy ‘Wess Side Ryder’ craps on TNGHT; if only more bass producers could make something so dirty yet so beautiful. Arts the Beatdoctor also manages to conjure a deep and loving concoction, and like all other tracks, mixed to perfection.

So, all in all, a great compilation with some fascinating music. It is quite long, and quite easy to miss some great moments in-and-amongst all the hubbub. A custom strip-down of your favourite tracks is recommended. However there is enough there to keep any future-dance-minded electronic music fan busy for at least a week.

Vincent-Paolo – Grey Goose

01 – Vincent-Paolo – Grey Goose

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