Various – Beaches & Cream (Dragonfly)

Posted in Reviews 2004 by - April 21, 2004


Clearly, after Absolute Threshold, even the mugs among us all can see that Dragonfly are back on form with a sound that’s better than it’s been in years. Compiled by UK party organiser and DJ Pogo, Beaches & Cream is a cruisier collection of morni ng tunes that sets the tone for european summer sunrises. Silicon Sound set things off with Shodan, a gorgeous opening with effortless Silicon layering, a breakdown long enough to roll a joint in, and a lazy morning groove to ease out those tired legs. Laughing Buddha’s appearance with Fractal Tonic had me checking my watch making sure it’s not 1997 and I’ve just paid twenty quid for Tip Singles 2 on vinyl. Welcome back indeed; the productyion is sublime although it’s not quite the slammin’ reintroduction we hoped for. Protoculture & Pogo pull out all the stops with California Sunshine, an utter gem. Take Protoculture’s effortless melodic sensibilities, add some crowd-pleasing samples and a tongue-in-cheekiness too rare these days, and the result is storming. (Cries of ‘it’s been done before’ please form an orderly queue at the back, while the rest of us dance around like lemons.) Brain XL’s Rodeo Driver is fluffy and fuzzy, the sound of the sun coming up and getting a li ttle smile off someone at the other side of the dancefloor. Graham Wood’s Freedom From The Fresh is a bit of an in-joke, taking it’s name from an old Infinity Project tune (psyreviews personally prefers Freedom From The French, but anyway.) It’s a big expansive wobbly groove, and the old sounds are there tapping at the windowpane… nice! Bamboo Forest’s Bass Trap is a ticklish oddball delight — it almost sounds oldskool, and with their characteristic melting-pot vibe of throwing all kinds of sounds in together, it hangs together rather nicely. Finally, Laughing Buddha & Aphid Moon’s Crystal Clarity is utterly gorgeous — a killer sample at the start (one of the best in a long time for this reporter), storming and uplifting and anthemic all at once, tip top work chaps. What we have then is a prety neat album — three utterly awesome tunes out of ten isn’t a milestone, but the sound’s funky and clean and proof positive that London is indeed swinging once again.


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