Various/ Chris Woodward – Focus On: Buzzin’ Fly review

Buzzin’ Fly compilations always take on a retrospective feel, looking back at what the label has achieved with a proud (and wholly justified) sense of achievement. They are much like family Christmas cards that fondly round up the year’s activities for friends and relatives. As part of their 50th single celebrations this spring, they deliver a compilation of Buzzin’ Fly classics as the next instalment of the Focus On series. Penned by Chris Woodward, an integral part of the imprint’s close knit family, this release features the likes of Ben Watt, Spencer Parker, Justin Martin, Mlle Caro and Franck Garcia.

Like Buzzin Fly: 5 Years in the Wilderness, (and all four Volumes in the Buzzin’ Fly series) this compilation digs into the imprint’s revered back catalogue. The former was applauding reaching five years whilst the latter celebrates reaching their 50th release. Over seventy-five minutes, Chris Woodward picks out some of Buzzin’ Fly’s flagship tracks such as label boss Ben Watt’s “Guinea Pig,” Spencer Parker’s “The Beginning” and Justin Martin’s “The Fugitive”.

As Woodward hones into some deep, intricate, house action, he delves into Buzzin’ Fly’s trademark mix of deep house, melodic techno and electronic disco. We see cuts like Jay Shepheard’s remix of Glimpse and Martin Eyrir’s “Southern Soul” standing shoulder to shoulder with Darkmountaingroup’s “Lose Control”. Woodward also adheres to the Buzzin’ Fly tradition of house that is both sonically ornate and driving in all the right places by including moments like Mlle Caro & Franck Garcia’s beautiful “Dead Souls” and Âme’s club fuelled remix of “Insomnia”.

Buzzin’ Fly’s long standing resident has done an admirable job of paying homage to the label’s sound, and in the process has proved what a force they have become.

Review: Tom Jones