Various Artists Buzzin' Fly, Volume 1 (Mixed by Ben Watt) Review

Compilation. Released 2004.  

BBC Review

The first compilation to come out of Ben (Lazy Dog) Watt's new label Buzzin Fly. 11...

Jack Smith 2004

Aptly subtitled "replenishing music for the modern soul", Ben Watt's latest labour of love finally demonstrates that the producer-come-DJ-come-label-mogul indeed does have the Midas touch.

In a career that's included international chart success as one half of Everything But The Girl, running the award winning Lazy Dog Sunday afternoon jam in trendy Notting Hill, and most recently the creation of Buzzin' Fly records and owner of west London's coolest club, Neighbourhood. Without wishing to sound sycophantic, the multi-faceted man wears many caps with much finesse and style.

With eager anticipation the first instalment of Buzzing' Fly is exactly what we've come to expect. Edgy deep house grooves with the odd hint afro-beat, oozing elegance and panache with basslines reminiscent of workouts from the likes of Mood II Swing and Sandy Rivera. A selection made with pool parties and cocktails on the terrace in mind rather than a pint of larger and a packet of crisps at the Nags Head.

Emphasis is on beautifully deep flowing arrangements that fall into Naked Music territory. Rodamaal's Latin-kissed opener "Musica Feliz" setting a tempo that rarely fluctuates until the Passion Dance Orchestra's rich keyboard flourishes and firmly muscular bassline on "Worlds".

In between, it's the exclusives that draw the most attention - Manoo's gently caressing, kaleidoscopic, sonic textures on "6 In The Morning", Watt's own sparkling, terrace style gem"A Stronger Man" with Sananda Maitreya (the man once known as Terence Trent D'Arby)on vocalsand the sublime Charles Webster beat mix of last year's acclaimed Justin Martin release, "Sad Piano".

Watt's mixing is uncomplicated yet still slick, allowing the music to speak greater volumes than the DJ's skills. A true quicksilver talent he's created a mixture of pizzazz and pathos that swings to a soulfully sophisticated pendulum.

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