Radio Slave is one of the most respected experimental music masters in the world, known for his eclectic slew of sounds. No matter your music of choice, Matt Edwards creates a temptation for every palette. Through the years, he has nested under the monikers of Mathew E, Dj Maxxi, Rekid (co-founder of Rekids), Quiet Village, and Sea Devils, each producing a completely different sound — everything from Chicago style house under Mathew E, to evocative Disco with partner Joel under Quiet Village. His newest creation, Balance 023, takes listeners on an emotive, two-disc journey through the many faces of Edwards, its 33 tracks marking a stark contrast to the stripped-back simplicity of his Fabric 48 mix.
“The idea of a double disc is something that totally suits me down to the ground. I’m interested in so many types of music. So with the Balance compilation I knew I’d have to take one mix in a clubbier direction and then the second disc would be all about showcasing tracks from my favorite producers and creating an environment for home listening that isn’t just wallpaper,” Edwards said on the Balance site.
Balance 023 was months in the making during one of Edwards’ toughest years yet, so each selection holds an emotional slice of life very dear to him, making it a more personal musical compilation than your average mix CD. The renowned underground tastemaker highlights tracks from Ryuichi Sakamoto, Larry Heard, Nina Kraviz, Delano Smith, Vince Watson, DJ Bone, J Dilla, and Herbie Hancock, among other profound artists.
Disc 1, entitled White Skies, leads a somber start with fragments of worldly sounds. A mix of techno-meets-jazz with a hint of classic house makes for a very hypnotic groove. It’s in the backward pianos of his remix of Ian Pooley & Spencer Parker’s Lurchen und Eulen and the warped, distorted, and dubby stabs of Svek’s Brommage Dub (a ‘97 classic) that we get a great dancefloor vibe. Journey through the sounds of classic house with Memorial Smith and Kaos, then take a Balearic turn with Radio Slave’s original Tantakatan.
Disc 2, titled Maestros and Memories, travels further through Matt’s many faces, showcasing the deeper grooves of his record collection. Disc two glides on ambient, downtempo, and experimental cusps that are bound by a sense of majesty, melody, and atmosphere. The series as a whole is a mysterious and enlightening listen for the perceptive music mind.
Purchase Radio Slave’s Balance 023 on June 11.