It's Boxer's birthday, and how else does a label celebrate 10 amazing years, than with (ta- daaa), a compilation? More a favorite mix tape than a Best-Of-Everything, this full-length compilation doesn't tell you much about the label's back catalogue or sales figures, but keeps things surprisingly focused within its eleven tracks although it sports a bewildering variety of styles with each artist thinking outside the box. Already the first track, a dreamy, draft-like experience from the mind of Stephan Hinz, leaves a lot to the imagination, thus installing the frame for things to come: everyhing is possible. Kolombo and Von Spar both prowl the same funky hunting grounds, but present divergent results, which nevertheless communicate very well when put to the test. Grade A grooves await the listener with Popnoname, tOMBo feat. Schad Privat and Paul Nazca, who all find new perspectives on the sound you'd expect from them. Especially the latter goes into full morphing mode with a second track that ingeniously brushes his own formula against the grain. Let's not forget the not-so-secret centerpiece of this album, its heart and soul, Scalde's inspired ballad "We Drive Away". This song replaces the usual rave climax with a perfectly balanced, humanist flow full of wisdom and romanticism, informing the follow-up track by Le Dust Sucker in the most drastic way. Whereas this powerful production duo has become known for their furor, they crank up the serenity with "Everybody Used To", delivering a perfectly formed pop gem. The same can be said about Robag Wruhme and Extrawelt, whose production skills reach dizzying heights with their contributions, upgrading the floor with broken beats and epic harmonies in the most convincing manner. In the end it's mostly the unconditional love for details and the dramaturgical subtlety that gives "10 Years Of Boxer" its coherence, thus saying more about the quality of a label than a thousand Best-Of-All-You-Can-Hear derivatives this industry is usually churning out in a matter of seconds. In one word: it's the personality that truly speaks to the listener.
(added: 2012-05-14 11:08:59 )