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Danny Howells

DannyHowellsBalance 024
Balance Music/EMI

Four years on from his last release, Danny Howells takes the wheel for Balance 024 and offers up a brooding journey through the shadows of the ambient house and the techno music spectrum. A veteran of the English underground, label boss and revered mix album producer, Howells compiles a two-disc collection of tracks from artists including Jamie xx, Will Saul, The Mole and Jagwar Ma. Flowing through his favoured genres of techno and progressive house while emphasising minimalism, the record has a personal value to Howells. Constructing the track-list and creative direction while at Glastonbury this year, he has carefully designed a sequence of tracks to meld together seamlessly. The timing of transitions from one rhythm to the next is excellent, with The Mole’s funk-driven beat on A Daily Affair merging into Joakim’s synth-led Another Light on disc one as if it was always meant to do so. A recurring theme of techno drum patterns blending with trance leads serves to facilitate a rising and falling of mood again and again as each new track takes over.

A master of the format, Howells provides a release evocative of Balance’s reputation for timeless underground beats and reveals subtle, interesting turns around every corner.

TOM KITSON

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