Timo Maas: Balance 017 (Review)

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October 25, 2010 by DJ Elroy

Timo Maas has finally cast off the milk-carton status and jumped back into the spotlight with his first official mix release in almost a decade. Balance 017 is the newest in the creme de la creme of electronic dance music compilations, and Mr Maas hits the ground running on this double-disc package. Known for his head-trippin’ programming and a  production pedigree of epic proportions, the German mix-Maaster is back to show the world he still has the flavor that took him to the top.

Disc one opens with a chill, almost noir approach. Dark skylines, cold alleys, and a secret door to the speakeasy. The underground has always been a world apart but Timo Maas makes us feel welcome, slowly breaking in the inexperienced ears with some jazzy grooves and a seductive vibe. As the mix continues Mr Maas knocks back the tracks like shots lined up on the bar; musical inhibitions are lost as the sound seamlessly rolls from the sexy ambiance into smart (and a little teasing) deep and melodic tech and house. “The format of the Balance mix series was always quite appealing to me; to spread myself out over 2 CDs without essentially having to “rock” a crowd from the beginning is a very good thing,” he explains. “I was able to also include deeper, downbeat, “earlier set” material, that I personally like to listen to, but am not essentially playing out on a normal club night.”

Disc two raises the ante with an ‘anything goes’ attitude and continues the set with a darker and grittier style. “For me ‘”the trip” is quite important to create, with a mix of brand new and exclusive material, but also tracks that rock my world at the moment [as well as in past] years, the so-called “classics”.”  Maas says. And as the setlist rolls on you’ll hear some some brain-tweaking cuts thrown in, subtle at first but as the experiment continues you’re left wondering what exactly was in those drinks and are you the only one hearing this?

Yes, Timo Maas makes a triumphant return; this set should please the dancers and chin-strokers alike. It may not hit you right away, but the programming is easy to understand without being predictable, the flow natural, and with all the crazy stuff layered into the music you’ll need to give this a few spins to find out what surprises are hidden within… Truly music for the Maases!

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