Ewan Pearson We Are Proud of Our Choices Review

Released 2010.  

BBC Review

Demonstrates to the world that he is a man of excellent taste.

Tom Hocknell 2010

Given that most genres of music are rife with songs lamenting wrong turns made or opportunities missed, the title We Are Proud of Our Choices, taken from an old socialist youth hymn, stands tall. Ewan Pearson has been steadily making a name for himself, at least with those who read inlay sleeves, with production credits on Tracey Thorn’s 2007 sublime solo album, Out of the Woods, as well as the recent Delphic long-player. He now presents his third compilation which, as such compilations should, demonstrates to the world that he is a man of excellent taste.

In the tradition of mix-tapes from the early 90s, popular with those too dizzy from circling the M25 looking for parties to change the music, this takes the listener on an impeccably well-mixed journey. Dance compilations often divide into two camps: those consisting of Topshop playlists of handbag house music, and those compiling bands so obscure their existence comes as a surprise even to their record labels. This falls into the latter category, released as it is on the influential German dance label, Kompakt. There are few names here known to outsiders of the electronic scene, but it demonstrates the considerable talent to be found within the racks of anonymous-looking 12" singles.

The opening tracks are gentle, all atmospheric synthesised strings and submerged chords. So much so, in fact, that the first emergence of vocals, on track five, is disconcerting, as though humans had previously ceased to exist. Things slowly pick up from here, with the slow-motion hypnotic house piano of T Times Too, segueing into Yukihiro Fukutomi’s “receive the light” vocal mantra, but it ultimately remains dance music for the autobahn.

Like favouring a thread in a pullover, highlights are hard to identify, as the flow of the mix is impeccable. There are peak moments, such as the way the distorted soul of Shiroi drifts into the sultry deep house of the appropriately named Equilibrium. Another standout, predictably, is Ewan’s seductive mix of Little Dragon’s Fortune. As a collection it works as a musical duvet of contemporary electronica, and is a useful reminder of the quantity, and quality, of ‘genre’ music out there waiting to be discovered.

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