Offline bananasplit

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2006 is certainly looking very bright for 26 year old Oxford University graduate James Holden. His Border Community label is currently hailed as one of the world’s hottest labels with its 12” releases shifting serious units, his productions and remixes receiving rave reviews and a DJ schedule that includes dates in just about every continent.

To a music world overly obsessed with scenes, the James Holden success story reads like a catalogue of contradictions. 2003’s collaboration with vocalist Julie Thompson, ‘Nothing’, was picked up by legendary UK house label Loaded, then hailed by trance legend Tiesto as his tune of the year. Holden has remixed everything from quirky Cologne pop on Crosstown Rebels to mainstream dance pop on Positiva; New Order to Britney Spears; Black Strobe terror-electro to System 7 psy-trance and delicate Lo Recordings electronica; fast-rising young upstart Nathan Fake to Kirsty Hawkshaw’s timeless classic ‘Fine Day’. Meanwhile the chunky techno earthquake of ‘A Break in the Clouds’, the debut release on his own Border Community label, has become an underground European techno classic, still flying out of the warehouse over two years after release, and winning Holden a firm following amongst the ever forward-thinking German dance fraternity.

However, Holden’s DJ sets have been an almost mirror image of not only the diverse remixes and beautiful dance music that he makes but also reflect the flowing groove and unclassifiable depths to the different elements and genres that his productions encompass. Here on this double CD mix set we find James Holden firmly ‘At The Controls’, creating and shaping a new aural environment for us to embrace and get lost in. Despite his accomplished career , “At the Controls” is his first UK based compilation. His previous 2004 Balance compilation on Australian label EQ was only available on import.

“The idea was just to make a compilation that I'd think is good”, states James by matter of fact. “Mostly I hate DJ mixes, so that’s the main thing that influenced this - trying to justify my 2 CDs with a load of music that I really love. Through Resist we've been able to get permission to use some tracks I never dreamt I'd be able to get, so it's turned out being a cross section of music that I'm really happy with. Lot’s of it comes from the little family of friends around Border Community. And recommendations from my hairdresser!” he says jokily. “And of course the depths of my iTunes folder - things I've been listening to for 10 years wanting to put on a mix CD.”

For Holden this mix also represents a technological evolution from 2003’s ‘Balance 005’ mix which utilised a Cycloops sampler and CDJ-1000 wizardry. Although on one hand his studio set up hasn’t change too much bar the odd computer upgrade since he made the decidedly trancey ‘Horizons’ during his summer holiday break from studying maths at Oxford University at the age of 19 on a 500 quid PC, James is very much aware of the technological advances being made in both music production and application and is further bringing these elements in to his DJ sets.

“The other thing about this CD is how I put it together,” adds Mr. Holden. “It's not just geek-toy-love, because how you make music always affects the outcome. Using a DJ controller I've been developing with some engineering friends, along with a heap of software and custom hacks of things, I managed to make a setup where I could make a good representation of what my style (as a producer and as a club DJ) is about, and could do it live. So the CD has a few mistakes in it but that's totally unimportant, because the feel of it is right and the noise and chaos suits me. More importantly the music is right - the way things go together and how one track leads you to the next. Which is the point of a mix CD, I think. All this music, to me, belongs together. It doesn’t matter that I've mixed from psy-trance into 70s krautrock because the feel of those songs makes it make sense. They make each other better by being together musically. In that way (as well as the gratuitous digital noise) the CD fits with me too - I dont want to fit into any scene either.”

Just turned 26 years old, James Holden now finds himself exactly where he wants to be. As the digital producer par excellence he is blazing a trail through as yet unchartered territory, showing those who follow in his wake how it can, and should, be done. As a DJ he gets to travel the world, surprising and delighting in equal measures, and enlarging his band of followers at every port of call. And at the helm of his own buzz label Border Community he is proving himself to be quite the A&R man, discovering like-minded souls to help turn his musical vision into reality and constantly striving to give something special back to the record-buying public. Underlying these three components of the James Holden recipe for success is an unerring belief in his own vision and a refusal to do things the way others tell him they always have been done. He is well into the process of carving out a niche all of his very own, and is not about to let anyone stop him now. As the Border Community Express ploughs on into the future, here once again we find James Holden steadfast ‘At The Controls’.

“AT THE CONTROLS” comes at a time with James Holden firmly in the spotlight of the world, with his profile as a DJ, producer, and A&R man growing every day.

“At The Controls” shines as truly visionary mix, that could comfortably end up as one of the highlights of 2006.


  Highlighted tracks are previewed.
  CD 1


 1. Apparat ‘Wooden’

  2. Plastikman ‘Cor Ten’
  3. Massive Attack vs. Mad Professor ‘Trinity Dub (Three)’
  4. Kate Wax ‘Angel Blues’
  5. Death In Vegas ‘Anita Berber’
  6. Petter ‘Some Polyphony’
  7. Vox Sola ‘Metro Pop’
  8. Issikadis ‘Hotter Now’ (Stripped Down Mix)
  9. Holden ‘Lump’
  10. Midimiliz ‘Trace Function’
  11. Harmonia ‘Watussi’
  12. Holden ‘10101’

 13. Skugge & Stavöstrand ‘Medean’
 14. Nathan Fake ‘Charlie’s House (Apparat Remix)
 15. Lucky Pierre ‘Angels On Your Body’
 16. Christ. ‘Perlandine Friday’
 17. Fennesz ‘Rivers of Sand’
  CD 2

 1. meta.83 ‘Opening Titles’

  2. Paul Kalkbrenner ‘Gebrünn Gebrünn’

  3. Motiivi:Tuntematon ‘1939’

  4. Malcolm Middleton ‘Solemn Thirsty’

  5. Aphex Twin ‘Xtal’

  6. Milky Globe vs. Holden ‘Sun Spots’

  7. Kalabrese ‘Aufm Klo’
  8. Lazy Fat People ‘Big City’ (Original Mix)
  9. Water Lilly ‘Lottotron Reboot’
  10. Trans Am ‘Cold War’ (War Is Stupid Mix)
  11. Slag Boom Van Loon ‘Poppy Seed’ (Boards Of Canada Reprise)
 12. Egoexpress ‘Live At Sirius Prime’
  13. Black Strobe ‘Nazi Trance Fuck Off!’ (Holden Remix)
 14. Plastikman ‘Cor Ten’

 15. AFX ‘Every Day’


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Offline danzadanzi

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sudah banyak di toko2 cd like duta suara n EX... tp keren gak seh? yg balance 005 seh keren walau agak aneh..
plizz klo dah ada yang beli share dong .. n give comment 5 star klo oks banget.. 4 star klo yeah asyik
n wajb dikoleksi gak seh? coz mayan mahal jo'

Offline underwaterplanet

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sudah banyak di toko2 cd like duta suara n EX... tp keren gak seh? yg balance 005 seh keren walau agak aneh..
plizz klo dah ada yang beli share dong .. n give comment 5 star klo oks banget.. 4 star klo yeah asyik
n wajb dikoleksi gak seh? coz mayan mahal jo'

tergantung dari ekspetasinya dan selera music danzadanzi. Beda banget sama yg balance. kompilasi ini lebih aneh dan experiment dan gak terlalu pumping.
dengerin cd ini gak bisa sepotong sepotong. harus dalam kondisi yang emang niat denegrin cd ini dari awal sampe habis. soundnya ngebawa bgt. Bener bener musical journey. Feelingnya kaya ngedengerin CD Pink Floyd ketimbang ngedengerin dance music ::)

Tapi dijamin gak bakal nyesel deh beli CD ini. Walaupun pada saat ini mungkin danzadanzi gak suka dan menyesel telah beli, tapi one day, let say 3 thn lagi kalo udah mulai capek denger musik yg jejogedan dan pasang cd ini, dijamin baru deh kerasa betapa canggih nya CD ini :)

Holden is surely one of the best talented dj (lebih tepatnya composer) for the next generation. For me, I give 5 star plus dan wajib untuk dikoleksi.


- K -
+ MAX  the  MIN -


Offline danzadanzi

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thanks untuk reviewnya ya underwaterplanets... wakakaka pink floyd dark side apa ummagumma neh...
gw seh blum beli .... dari deskripsi lu kaya nya patut dipertimbangkan nih "at the the control" mr holden..
mungkin dugaan gw ni album moodnya seperti jonathan isle yg releas'n bedrock kali ya???? aneh, experiment n gak danceable ( in my opininon loh) ;)

5 star ... nyum nyum...

Offline Mario 78

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Udah denger,sampe track Cold War......selanjutnya aneh gitu,,,,,nuansanya sih Minimal gt tp yg aneh gitu>>>Emang orangnya aneh kali yah....>>>>>= *bgs*
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Offline secret admirer

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Setuju ama underplanet...

nech CD ga pumping sesuai dengan style aslinya Holden ya kalo menurut gw.... :) :)

kalo Mario bilang aneh...mungkin emang karakter soundsnya Holden yg beda.....dan soundsnya dia kayanya ga pernah dipake oleh Dj lain....hehehe kalo pertama kali denger emang aneh , tapi kalo dah dapet feelnya...wah bakalan gandrung lhoo..hehehe  *bgs* *bgs*

Please Correct me if I'm wrong... ;)

Point kalo menurut gw 8 dari 10 kali ya...?
If ‘progressive’ means innovation with subtle emotions, I love this style. But it’s true that we all need styles and I like the idea that ‘progressive’ is associated with quality." - Benoit Franquet (Pole Folder)

Offline Mario 78

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We Are Not Anonymous We Are Underground


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