The Review: Tale of Us – Essential Mix

Matteo & Karm are two Italians that moved to Berlin to take their passion for electronic music to the next level. Arguably one of the Meccas of dance music, the German capital would play host to the defining moments in the career of a duo soon to be known to the world as Tale of Us.

As a DJ/producer duo, it seems a bit confusing when you want to decipher where the main focus lies. Are they good back-to-back DJs? Are they just a production duo that DJ to promote their music and their image? The funny thing is Tale of Us are strong on both fronts. Maybe stronger in one than the other, but definitely respectable as far as a DJ/production duo goes.

The biggest problem DJs face, when they’re lined up to have their Essential Mix broadcast to millions of listeners , is that their reputation precedes them and they may feel certain boundaries that restrict them from experimenting. Tale of Us have had some really memorable sets, such as their Life & Death set at Mexico’s BPM Festival or one of their sets at Richie Hawtin’s Enter. concept in Ibiza. For many people, going to a club to dance to the style of music they champion is quite difficult, despite how nice it may sound in their headphones. It’s quite a difficult style to work with, and you need just the right amount. Of course, with eccies all of this is no problem, but DJs should still account for sober clubbers.

On quite a few occasions, Tale of Us have delivered stale sets that carry the low-swung space in a tedious manner. Sometimes they can be adventurous and play Caribou’s flute-driven track Mars’ at Space Ibiza – one of the best clubs in the world. Sometimes they can start with the perfect techno track and set up the mix for a perfectly energised session. No one holds them against this because they are great producers of timeless music, and some say that means they can take their foot off the pedal when DJing, but they obviously have artistic integrity and always try to improve.

You could say it was a cliché that they began their Essential Mix with a beatless ambient tune that still seemed fitting for a club environment (that’s Lake People for you), but this is the signature aesthetic that Tale of Us bring to their DJ sets and live shows. It would almost be a crime if they hadn’t begun their set with this track, because what proceeds is a perfect atmospheric techno track from their Life & Death imprint.

Throughout the mix, the energy levels fluctuate ever so slightly, and that only works in the favour of the listener, teased about by the different narratives told in each chapter of the mix.

The pace finally picks up in the second half of the mix where it gets more interesting melodically. The highlight would have been the unreleased Mano Le Tough remix of Marcus Worgull and Motor City Drum Ensemble’s collaborative effort as Vermont. The mix is then nicely wrapped up with Stephan Bodzin’s forthcoming tune ‘Singularity’ which he dropped when playing with Marc Romboy at Village Underground not long ago, a perfect ending track to wrap up a well thought out mix that powered through the hype and expectations to deliver a contender for #EssentialMixOfTheYear so early on in 2015.



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