Album Reviews

Dave Seaman – Renaissance: The Masters Series Vol 7

(Renaissance) UK release date: 13 March 2006

In the choppy history of the dance compilation Renaissance have often stood right at the top of the game, with their lavishly produced mixes always attending to detail and mood.

Sasha and John Digweed may have got the ball rolling back in the 1990s, but more recently Dave Seaman carries the can for these high standards, and this marks his third contribution to the seven-strong ‘Masters’ series.

It’s a belter. As so often with Seaman both mixes are conceived as one big whole, so the journey of CD 1 starts with Sasha’s spacey mix of Charlie May‘s Seal Clubbing, easing the listener into the wide open sound and providing a relatively light break beat to start with. This is a trademark of Seaman’s, the proviso being that the house beats begin to assert themselves ever more forcefully as the mix progresses.

And so it proves, but never in a way that’s wholly predictable, as the unaccredited remix of Thievery Corporation finds guest vocalist David Byrne cast in a dub-house style, the bass a solid undercarriage. The momentum then drives forward inexorably, with the jackhammer bass line of Slacker‘s Memory Man, the riff leaping out thespeakers and the first of several truly thrilling highs.

With everyone well and truly on the dancefloor, the DJ unleashes more bombs in the shape of Hawaii‘s Pure and Nufrequency‘s electro-flavoured Buy Me, closing with his own storming mix of Gabriel & Dresden‘s Tracking Treasure Down.

It’s a tribute to Seaman’s style of DJing that he maintains the same approach in nearly every mix he does, but on each occasion he brings a fresh slant on house music to the dancefloor. CD 2 does this equally well, and regular contributors Killahurtz and Bedrock supply big beats and roomy keyboard textures, while the big anthem status is stolen squarely by Rowan & Jaytech‘s head rush track Tomorrow, a bruising bassline teamed with a dreamy Balearic chord sequence.

So once again Renaissance deliver, and Dave Seaman, something of an unsung house hero, posts a timely reminder of his ability to plan and execute a CD mix that has structure, melody, atmosphere and hugely danceable house beats. It also confirms Renaissance remain in rude health, nearly 13 years on from when their pioneering mix compilations began.

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Dave Seaman – Renaissance: The Masters Series Vol 7