For just over a year now, NRK have been steadily building Coast2Coast as a formidable showcase of vocal house DJ talent, bringing in big name American DJs such as Kerri Chandler and Miguel Migs, while taking in new kids on the block Karizma and Ame.
With X-Press 2 they reach their highest point yet. For Ashley Beedle, Rocky and Diesel have come up with a pair of mixes that, while not in a hurry to go anywhere, unfold naturally and with plenty of rhythmic verve, pressing all the right dancefloor buttons.
The tempo of the first mix harks back to early house, as does the mood. Carl Craig‘s wonderfully vibrant remix of Johnny Blas throws down the gauntlet, taken up by Farley & Rocky‘s Cobra and given extra weight by Solid Groove‘s remix of Blackjoy.
Gradually and inexorably the momentum builds, finding its apex in the closing trio of tracks which are led by an early house hero in Mr Fingers, Stars a good choice of the back of yet another quality mix of the boys’ own Kill 100.
So how to follow that? Well CD2 steps on the pedal, taking the next hour of the night to an even higher level as the pressure builds on the dancefloor. Straight in with the edgy piano of Skat, weird disembodied harmonies of Stefan Goldman but the pace starts to wind up with the driving bass of the sax-driven Ame remix of Etienne Jaumet, the sharpened electric bass of Marlow & Claudia Nehls as put through the Jackmate remixer.
Cooler moments intersperse these highs, with the warmth of Art Of Tones and the dreamy, languid Frankie Valentine cut Paradise Regained both notable inclusions. Yet in truth there’s not a bad track to be found as the journey continues.
X-Press 2 are by no means prolific in the world of the mix compilation, with a long-lost Ministry After Hours compilation and an old Journeys By DJ with Rocky & Diesel their two most notable moments prior to this. Therefore NRK have scored quite a coup with a hot pair of mixes, the group captured in one of the best dance compilations you’ll catch this year.