Switched On – Balance presents Sunstrip mixed by Hernán Cattáneo

Various Artists: Balance presents Sunstrip mixed by Hernán Cattáneo (Balance)

What’s the story?

Argentine DJ Hernán Cattáneo links up with the Australian label Balance once again, returning to the double-set format for the first time in two years. His two mixes clock in at over two and half hours, focusing mostly on the deeper side of house music but with plenty of room for development.

What’s the music like?

In a word, consistent. The first three minutes of Cattáneo’s first mix set out a dreamy picture before the appearance of a reassuringly strong kick drum to get things going. Mariana Mellino & Interaxxis’ ‘Andromeda’ offers a sign of the steady tightening of intensity the Argentinian does so well, and we move smoothly through nice squiggles from Juan Hansen’s ‘Hiding Sun’, which hits a peak with some Depeche Mode-like vocals.

The mix presses on with the warm and fuzzy combination of the Kevin Di Serna tracks ‘4 Meditation’, which has a lovely sweep through space in its breakdown, and ‘System Era’ works well. Fellow countrymen Soundexile offer two tracks together, ‘Glide’ seguing effortlessly into the classy ‘Stimulation’, a lovely easy groove, before Cattáneo finishes part one with a curveball, Mercurio’s cover of Jefferson Airplane’s ‘White Rabbit’ sung by Anita Alvarez de Toledo.

The second mix is immediately more urgent, and gets off to a great start with Mike Griego feat. Paula Os and ‘Headspace’. The tempo is quicker and the percussion up a gear, as though the sun has set and we are heading into the night. The powerful sweep of ‘Dissolved In You’ by Brian Cid carries all before it, the producer reappearing later with the brooding ‘Rebirth’. Cid Inc – no relation – impresses with the shimmering textures of ‘Forgotten’, while there is an unexpected but welcome cover of The Cure’s ‘A Forest’ from COLLE. Finally Soundexile return with Wind Down (Outro Mix), the lights going up as the mix fades into the distance.

Does it all work?

Effortlessly so, thanks to Cattáneo’s experienced head. The pacing of each mix is spot on, the peaks and breakdowns expertly managed, while the beats and harmonic structure are spot on. The cover of ‘White Rabbit’ might split opinion but this is an extremely solid selection.

Is it recommended?

Yes. Cattáneo has built up great judgement on how to pace a commercial mix, and his instincts are sound here. Consistency is the key throughout!

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You can get this album from Beatport here

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