Lars Sandberg has flown the flag for underground deep techno and house sounds since the mid-nineties. Establishing himself as revered producer via hits such as the massive Diabla and excellent remixes for artists as diverse as Underworld, Laurent Garnier, New Order and Kevin Saunderson. His curation skills have him regarded as a true DJs DJ with a exemplary reputation behind the decks and his decision in these post-Covid times to focus a portion of his time on mentoring artists via his Twitch channel, has come to fruition in the form of a new compilation fittingly entitled The BreakThru List, available via his Bandcamp page.
The compilation features a diverse range of electronic artists, a true reflection of the varied but invariably innovative wave of producers that frequent his Twitch stream, forming a community that supports musicians in navigating the sometimes murky waters of the electronic scene. Sandberg ever humble, admits frankly to having “the wind knocked out of him” by the pandemic and turned to streaming early on to re-connect with his audience and friends in the industry. He describes his role as being like “that one friend who told me truthfully about what he thought my production needed back when I was starting out” and by the sound of the tracks on offer on this first release, he seems to be doing a sterling job of guiding a new breed of producers.
The compilation kicks off with dark hypnotic stabs of Gricha’s ‘House Illuminator’, a track that sounds like it could come out of Funk D’Void’s own repertoire with its early rave references and cavernous reverb. Next up, Ramon sweeps us off into moody melodic house territory, featuring a lead lick that Bodzin would be proud of on “Tales From The Soul” and the charmingly monikered NoisyShaun bruises in with a slice of looping techno on “Robo Replace”. However, the compilation is not all about four to the floor house and techno with stand-out tracks also coming from Bartiq (A name to watch according to Sandberg) whose atmospheric drum and bass roller “Reflection” is fluidly immersive and showcases some serious production skills. Elsewhere, Eithafol successfully takes the compilation into more experimental IDM territory, Usurp harks back to early Detroit with wonderful DX style pads on ‘I ‘No No Dub’ and Urgula knocks out some serious machine funk electro with the speaker shattering “1010 Marlene”. There are other notable offerings from Spring Goose and Andy Hackett but perhaps the pick of the bunch is Marcus Christian with a stunning piece of Vangelis inspired ambience on “Ember”; a track that at only two minutes long leaves the listener longing for more.
Overall, the compilation hangs together surprisingly well despite the variety on offer and gives a refreshing glimpse into the vivid imaginations of the producers he is unearthing over on Twitch. So if you fancy a dose of Glaswegian humour and some pro production tips then checking out his stream is a no brainer. As far as the compilation is concerned, it’s a seriously impressive debut for a number of the artists and you would be hard pressed to get anything of this quality for the meagre five euro asking price.
You can buy ‘BreakThru List Volume One’ HERE