Various – Transient 9 – Regeneration – Transient (UK)
Transient have evolved like no other label. Their full on days pioneered the likes of Cosmosis and Laughing Buddha making them synonymous with what made the music and the scene so special.
More recently, they diversified along with other UK labels and created a new (and highly successful) progressive-psychedelic combo. Which is showcased again in Transient 9, a skirting away from the more Scando style of the last label compilation.
Export Audio’s Girl Effects is a housey opener, with some nice stabs and a good bouncy, funky groove that had my girlfriend dancing about the room. Mission Accomplished I guess. Spy Vs Spy’s Spank The Monkey is a sparse and eventless display of wait-five-minutes-for-the-bassline boredom, and the effect is like waiting in the rain for a bus that never arrives.
Allen & Healy’s Head Over Heals (sic) is an uneventful house record, with a breakdown that leaves you nonchalant about what comes next, which is just as well as it’s a Manumission-friendly moody and flat run that shares an awful lot in common with the intro, i.e. it’s identical. Synchro’s Tekk is, yes, housey again, but has the trademark Synchro funk used to full and happy effect, with textured percussion layered over a hollow rhythm section, and moody stabs over the top adding colour.
Thank heavens then for Cosmosis & Shakta’s Supernatural, which has an instantly significant feel with a hefty kick and atmospheric sounds creating a smooth danceable pitched-down groover. The warpy, acidised bass riff is delightful, and its firm futuristic vibe makes it well suited to a variety of dancefloors. Human Blue’s epic Highway Service site nicely in the mix, bring it in halfway through for a delightful array of pads, tight percussion, and voice-sampling bassline all hinged on Human Blue’s appreciation of all things angelic.
With a couple of nondescript tunes from Manmademan and T-Boy vs. A.B. to close, this is an awkward compilation that suggests Transient is a label that doesn’t know where it should be going. A lot of the housier and more progressive releases out there hold their own as samples of good music capturing both the energy and innovation that’s necessary on these circuits.
What Transient 9 seems to capture is a directionless, unpassionate balance between unsatisfying house and a desire to be different overriding any quality matrix whatsoever.