In addition to introducing the world to drum’n’bass and creating the Detroit Electronic Music Festival, Carl Craig somehow found time to start a label that has now been releasing classic house music for twenty years. From the driving minimal tech of Paperclip People’s Clear & Present to the acidic jungle vibes of Recloose’s Can’t Take It, Planet E Communications has been home to some of the best sounds in recent memory.
20 F@#&ing Years Of Planet E: We Ain’t Dead Yet, interestingly enough, is built as a retrospective. Most top quality compilations showcase future talent, such as Exit Records’ stripped back Mosaic collection released earlier this year, so it says a lot about Planet E’s catalog that they can stick to a strictly historical perspective and still release one of the most exciting records of the year.
Carl himself is featured prominently with the aforementioned Paperclip People track as well as a few others under various monikers, but the best thing about 20 F@#&ING Years is that it has unearthed a couple of real gems; few people will have heard Lazy Fat People’s Club Silencio, a gorgeous piece of lithe minimalism sporting refined percussion draped with woozy pads and some ethereal ambient washes.
There have been mutterings of dissent from some corners that obscure artists like Lazy Fat People made the cut while more established faces like Vince Watson and Alton Miller were overlooked. Who deserved to be included more is irrelevant as Planet E have succeeded in reminding everyone just how f@#&ing good the last twenty years have been, and with their more forward thinking compilation scheduled for release later this year, they’re showing no signs of slowing down.