"Free To Ask" by Matthew Dear
Berlin's Get Physical has always been one of the most overtly pop-oriented of this decade's big dance-music imprints, and the seventh volume of its DJ-mix series is selected by Matthew Dear, who's best known for the vocal-driven work he releases under his own name. But Dear is also known for his abstract instrumental work, and that's the guiding principle behind the 20-track mix Body Language Vol. 7, which doesn't feature a prominent vocal until halfway through. An odd one it is, too: the gurgled croon of Mlle Caro and Franck Garcia's "Dead Souls (Radio Slave Long Distance Kiss Mix)" sounds as dreamy and detached as the rest of the collection. Sometimes that just means it pumps away in a relatively straightforward manner, as with SoulPhiction's "Traffic Lights." But the peaks are the more overly psychedelic likes of I:Cube's "GTNUP," in which vocal shrapnel flits by like a surreal cartoon, and DJ Koze's "Zou Zou," whose pan-pot tune and gurgling timbres are so hazed-out that they make Panda Bear's Person Pitch sound like the Ramones.