Album Reviews

Hernan Cattaneo – Sequential

(Renaissance) UK release date: 1 May 2006

Commercial dance music lovers may not class him as a household name, but Hernan Cattaneo certainly has a hold on house music, enough for the Argentinian to have earnt a second consecutive top ten placing in DJ magazine’s annual poll of top 100 DJs. Renaissance have had him on their roster for several now, and Sequential is his second set of mixes for the label.

Cattaneo’s approach is ideal for them – tough, slightly angular house beats supporting long-breathed chord sequences, mean and moody in the bass department and pretty economical with the treble. As with Dave Seaman each mix is conceived almost as one track, structured from atmospheric beginning to triumphant finish. Where Seaman usually includes a breaks track or two, however, Cattaneo’s selections are resolutely four to the floor.

In the case of the first CD this means opening up with Gui Boratto‘s Arquipelago and climaxing with the mighty bass riff of Way Out West‘s Wonka, a brute of a track that cuts through the woofers with shards of glass.

In between, Cattaneo takes in a steadily rising intensity from Tommyboy, Mikael Delta, the excellent Greek producer Dousk and a canny pairing of Rocco Mundo‘s Je T’Aime with an acappella of Hernan’s own Two Sides Of A Story. With Wonka unequivocally the high point, 16 Bit Lolitas and Phonique wrap up a hugely satisfying mix.

The second disc sees little reason to change things, and Bushwacka‘s Beastman takes plenty of time in setting the scene. Just as it threatens to outstay its lengthy welcome, Trisco‘s Fashionista seeps in to the consciousness with its uplifting chord progression, and then Cattaneo finds room for a new interpretation of an old classic in Luke Chable‘s update of Two Full Moons And A Trout.

The mix then assumes a similar pattern to the first, moving seamlessly through beefed up, bass heavy cuts from Marco Bailey, Dan Welton and Eddie F, with Cattaneo adding his own edit of Nick Muir‘s I Feel Real, an excellent Bedrock contribution.

If you’ve been seduced by the sounds of Renaissance in the past then you’ll find no reason to change a winning formula – they certainly haven’t. Cattaneo’s intensive thought processes behind each mix are clear, and there’s barely a dud track here in his selection. For solid, uncompromising house music with high quality mixing, look no further.

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Hernan Cattaneo – Sequential