The broken beat scene was one of dance music’s more rewarding sub-genres. It seemed to pull from the rawness of funk and soul’s past, whilst bringing techno’s space age yearnings side by side with the off-kilter rhythms of afrobeat. At the heart of it all were Jazzanova, who via their productions and impeccably ran Sonar Kollektiv record label managed to prove that dance music could be mature and beautiful, a mandate they’ve continued across two decades of production work.
This compilation showcases their dizzying production prowess over the past ten years, with nine of their classic remixes here to remind you of why they are one of electronic music’ most vital forces. Their rework of Outlines’ ‘Listen to the Drums’ is here, an early marker in the direction house and techno would take at the tail of the last decade through Innervisions (Ame released their debut on Sonar Kollektiv), as is the jazzy take on Heritage Orchestra’s ‘Skybreaks’ and the otherworldly percussion they use to punctuate their interpretation of Joe Bataan’s ‘Ordinary Guy’.
What really showcases their depth though is the willingness to look for more unlikely sources of inspiration. Paul Randolph’s ‘Believer’ in original form is a textbook slab of lounge room jazz, but on their rework they take it deep into the recesses of the club culture of the time, accentuating the soul of the original via a slowed down take on the melody from the same italo track that punctuates Kiko and The Hacker’s electroclash classic ‘Italomatic’. Who else could create a remix in 2007 which somehow merged the disparate dancefloors of Gilles Peterson and Erol Alkan? A decade on they remain vitally important, with this compilation an essential analysis into their production psyche.