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Lee Jones/Various – Watergate 07 review

Who do you pick to mix the next instalment in your series when the last effort was one of the finest compilations of 2010 so far (dOP, remember?)  You play it safe by calling in tried and tested, Essex born Berlin based club resident, Lee Jones.  Even if you don’t know the name immediately, it’s likely you’ll have heard one of his essential productions as part of now disbanded duo MyMy.  If you haven’t, though, there’s no need to worry… you’re in good hands.

There’s a slickness and clarity to this mix which perfectly suits the future disco that is the Watergate club itself, but with injections of real musicality all throughout things never become as perfect and digitalised as to blend pleasantly into the background.  The pace is unhurried but not pedestrian; the emotions are sweet and dreamy but remain anchored to a network of multifarious, micro-pulsing beats and, overall, Watergate 07 is the sort of soundtrack which ably transports you from the dark dead of night to the early light of morning with a compassionate charm.

At first it may seem noodly, but the fluid lines and subtle progressions here are what keep you coming back for more. That and gentle freak-outs like “Voice Scatter”, tear jerking piano moments like “Melancholie II (Lee Jones Watergate Remix)”, multi-layered organic rollers like “YoYo” or the loose, suspended tension of minimal patters like “December”.  Thread together as sensitively as they are, these records make for a mix which wears its heart on its sleeve: it’s beguiling but delicate and commanding yet tender.

Kristan Caryl