The sixth six-pack compilation from the Univack label is half made up of the winners from a competition called “Progressive En España”, where a jury selected their favourite progressive house tracks from submissions. So in a genre where to be steadily unnoticeable is not always a criticism, there must have been something the jury heard in these tracks to impress, and if I had to guess I’d say it was production quality rather than originality.
Not Demure’s “Hang In There” ticks along until a nice toothy, decidedly synthwave drop, while Daniel Camarillo & Noil’s “Caresess” features a range of vocal snippets and effects that make it feel like a dub version that ought to have a full vocal version floating around somewhere. Orgymu5ik’s “Space” has large doses of ‘90’s progressive, adding a little urgency and then plenty of sci-fi atmospherics and reverb in the drop.
The three competition tracks fit in well with the other three tracks in the release. High On Mars’ “The Dark Bedlam” isn’t bedlam but it’s dark, with an entertainingly ravey stab lead melody arriving just before the three minute mark. Despite its name, “Symphonic” from Nasser Tawfik and Messier is quite unambitious and feels a bit routine.
Whosane! & Essio’s “Flying Spaced Tipsy Stoned” is the anachronism of the pack, thanks mainly to spoken-sung vocals from Eva layered thickly across the whole track. It’s got much more of a party vibe but it’s interesting to hear that get melded with moodier prog house elements.
It’s a very strong pack of tracks- unsurprisingly, since half of it was chosen by a jury- with an undeniable production quality. Only one of the six tracks seems to want to stand out, but as a DJ friendly reliable bundle it packs a lot of quality.