Ripperton’s ‘Zendama‘ project comes from a place of purity – “I just wanted to put some songs from producers I love, on one record.” – While this simple ambition arrived with a pleasant complication, rather than one record, the final product is two – the end result is unhindered by conceptual baggage, and Ripperton’s personal selection of artists delivers on all fronts.
If you’ve not had the pleasure of encountering a Tamed Musiq release, they are the sort of records that tend to come alive on their third or fourth listen. One day you’ll absent-mindedly slip it into a session you’re blending together, only to double take in order to uncover the piece of genius that has suddenly revealed itself to you. It is music without shelf life, explaining why the likes of Crowdpleaser’s shuffling merry-go-round ‘After Rhone 2013‘ popped up as a surprise highlight on Sasha’s Fabric mix from last year.
Each records features a certified heater that couldn’t be more polar opposites if they tried. After a wicked run on Gerd’s Frame Of Mind imprint, Nature Boy’s vibrantly hand cut ‘Signs Of The Sun‘ is all warmth and basslines. Jump across to Lord Of The Isles ‘Luminous, Black & Emerald‘ and the usually kaleidoscopic producer strips back into the most icy minimal of forms, where the brief glimmers of melody hit like fevered revelations.
Outside of these two highlights, the releases slip into some thematic grooves. The tracks accompanying ‘Luminous, Black & Emerald‘ are aqua hued and hypnotic – Matt Karmil ‘Just For Me‘ rolls out swinging with a ghostly chorus, Ripperton ‘Indian Tree‘ is yearning and dappled like a moonlit stream, while Jackmate’s Special Interest Dub of ‘Rerun‘ is broken chill with cascading harps. Rubbing up alongside Nature Boy is a more eclectic trio – Crowdpleaser ‘Claire‘ is like an unearthed eighties reprise, Andy Hart’s reworking of Iron Curtis ‘Werc Werc Werc‘ heads deep into dub electro territory, and it is hard not to fall for the wilting synths of Mary Yalex ‘How U Really Feel‘.
Compilations are often a funny beast, often lacking in context or consistency. No such accusation can be levelled at ‘Zendama’, with no weak links on show. If anything, it makes you hope that Ripperton gets around to thumbing through his contact list for another excursion in the future.
A1. Matt Karmil – Just for me
A2. Lord of the Isles – Luminous Black & Emerald
B1. Jackmate feat. Nik Reiff – Rerun (Jackmates Special Interest Dub)
B2. Ripperton – Indian Tree
A1. DJ Nature – Signs Of the Sun
A2. Mary Yalex – How U really feel
B1. Crowdpleaser – Claire
B2. Iron Curtis – Werc Werc Werc (Andy Hart Remix)