The first part did not disappoint, nor inspired us. That happens sometimes. But the second one shot us high out of a chair. Intrigue decided to celebrate its adulthood as well as many other years of its life: by releasing a compilation of the best of what can be found on the label. And they’ve hit the jackpot.

The whole thing deserves a broader introduction. The word Intrigue doesn’t mean only the label, but also the famous Bristol party series (the last one hosted by the famous Thekla club, which became the cornerstone of the local scene during the 1990s). It has been organized since 2003 and is backed by Ben Soundscape. Thanks to him and his crew, the brand has been successfully flocking for the second decade (and the fucking covid years will not change that much hopefully). Driven by the idea of creating something that would work as quality, forward thinking music in a small club, they created an amazing thing. The label was probably only a matter of time, and 6 years later, the black-and-white Intrigue logo became one of those worth watching closely. Bristol has thus clearly strengthened its position as the city of D&B (you can read about its fascinating history from those who experienced and created it themselves – such as Krust, Roni Size, Bryan Gee, TC or Break and Kyrist) here.

This year, the brand has been celebrating 18 years on the scene and it is perfectly prepared for an adult life. It can bloom profusely and bear even more fruit. This is evidenced by the fact that the last few episodes of the yearly compilation Intrigue Anniversary needs to be divided into two parts. The label is still growing and it is doing very well. After all, this is the case with everything that is curated with honesty.

The first of the 9 tracks of the second part of this year’s joy fair will serve as a perfect illustration. This melancholic even roller carries the voice of Collette Warren, the label star and Ben’s loyal musical partner during numerous performances. By the way, don’t miss their still quite fresh set for Sun and Bass. It is an example of their brisk cooperation and a varied show of splendid D&B (you will also find several dubplates here, which we are now looking forward to in the spring). Female vocals are simply phenomenally combined with D&B’s rapid cadence and they always add very much welcomed lightness and charm. The melodic line sounds upbeat and will surprise you with an unexpected guitar riff. The track forms an absolutely ideal starting point for tuning into the entire vaudeville.

Just wow. Can you hear that sound? Vibrating, piercing and rolling as hot giant planet on its way through the galaxy. Ben Amos & Matt Shillito are no newbies either.

This is exactly what makes compilation as well as the whole label cool as fuck. It sounds full, breathy and light at the same time! The label’s boss certainly doesn’t produce as much as he could if he weren’t in charge of the entire entertainment business. But when he takes something in his own hands, It’s just awesome. We love it. By the way, after a number of singles and some excellent EP´s, will we finally see an LP? We hope so!

Playfulness in its smoothest form. Sometimes little is enough to create a lot. Lurch planted the amazing sounds of pleasant-sounding instruments on a fairly simple motif, and the result takes you directly up to the blue sky. Enjoy especially those relaxing intermezzos.

Does the name Dwele mean anything to you? This world-famous American soul singer, rapper and songwriter from Detroit made the perfect bedroom jam I Think I Love You in 2005. 5 years later it was remixed by Zero T. Whoever is missing this piece in their vinyl collection and is afraid that he may never officially find it electronically, will thank the track from The Insiders and Mutt. They used some samples from Dwell’s original in it and it’s great.

The last part of the whole birthday puzzle is also worth your attention. Its author is Joakuim, an artist with a halo of harsh exotics – he was born in Marseille and lives in Mexico. Include him among the ćlosely watched producers and you won’t regret it. The scope of his work is remarkable: he is not afraid of slower things, he can be almost ambient and sometimes very dark. Track Zen is a success and the fact that it closes the second part of the annual compilation of  Intrigue is definitely no coincidence.

You don’t have to try too hard for this compilation to convince you of how ingenious this label is. Above all, it can do perfect deep liquid. It is not one of the biggest D&B labels in the world, yet it manages to create an entire biosphere that you can enjoy with a taste for a long trip. We’ve heard a lot of individual Intrigue compilations – but this one is definitely one of the best. We look forward to what next year will bring and we are sending greetings to Bristol!

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