"While this sampler does certainly refine the classic Dial sound, it proves that as the label starts their next decade, they still have plenty of new ideas"
For many, Dial conjures up a specific image, what Will Lynch described as the “melancholic deep house” that the German label helped popularize in the mid-2000s. And while that is certainly part of Dial’s legacy, the label is still committed to showcasing a kaleidoscope of electronic sounds.
Not one to rest on their laurels, Dial’s latest releases have run the gamut from Tracey’s abstract electro soundscapes to decaying EBM austerity from DJ Richard. We get a similar breadth on the first part of a series of planned V/A releases to celebrate Dial’s 20th-anniversary.
If you’re in the market for vintage Dial, however, you can find that here too. You could certainly do much worse than reaching for XDB’s ‘Ruby Nights’ or DDhrode’s ‘Ghoroob’ when you are searching for a tender dance floor moment. Likewise, rising Giegling affiliate Molly turns in a broody deep house cut where plucked strings and an indecipherable vocal sample evoke the emotional hues of classic Lawrence records.
But don’t trick yourself that this is a sampler drunk on nostalgia; there is plenty of experimentation here, too. The slow skittering dub and reverb wash of ‘Caress‘ by Madrid-based Lanoche, for example, uses a dithering synthline to turn a spacious track into a claustrophobic K-Hole that feels good in the way only an almost-bad trip can.
The pièce de résistance is the Joey Anderson’s track, ‘A Moon Fell On Me,’ which makes this record worth the price of admission alone. The New Yorker continues the delicate interplay between introversion and galaxy searching that he perfected on his last LP, while imprinting a bit of Dial onto his signature. The chords have a surprising amount of Dial-worthy dramatic heft, but the acid line and off-beat percussion, where it feels like the DJ is just a beat off in the mix, keeps things weird enough for the afters.
Anderson’s track left me wondering why it took so long for the label to give him a call, but it also speaks to the staying power of the label. While this sampler does certainly refine the classic Dial sound, it proves that as the label starts their next decade, they still have plenty of new ideas.
‘Dial 2020 – Part One’ is scheduled for release 22 May. Order a copy from Bandcamp.
Cover artwork by Marina Faust
1. Lanoche – Caress
2. Molly – Conspiracy
3. XDB – Ruby Nights
4. Joey Anderson – A Moon Fell On Me
5. Mary Yalex -Cosmic Garden
6. DDrhode – Ghoroob (Mystical Rhythm)