As a DJ as well as a producer, Cindy Li knows how to integrate contrasts into a coherent overall sound. Her productions in collaboration with other producers, as well as her releases under the pseudonym Ciel, are characterised by airy breaks and bassy heaviness, playfulness and formal rigour, vast knowledge of dance music’s past and the urge to move forward. »Ecstatic Editions Vol. 1« is the inaugural release of the eponymous new label started by Eris Drew, whose understanding of the motherbeat is a similarly holistic one and who wishes to dedicate sprawling vinyl-only compilations to her favourite producers. »Ecstatic Editions Vol. 1« collects scattered releases by Ciel that were previously available digitally and four of these nine tracks are remixes. Nevertheless, or perhaps precisely because of this, it is a kind of ultimate door opener into the work of the Toronto-based multi-tasker, who highlights her various areas of interest through the record’s sequencing. The A-side opens with swirling breaks and spherical sounds, before the first flipside of this double LP puts bassy stompers in the centre. On the C-side, Li presents an ecstatic, acid-heavy take on house, then reinterprets the genre as a blank slate for experimentation with sound and rhythm. The three tracks on the D-side are connected by a similar … vibe, you might say: first a flute sounds over a restrained groove, then Li foregrounds Rosina Kazi’s vocals in her remix of LAL’s »End of This World Together,« before her rework of Cuushe’s »Beautiful« abstracts the artist’s light and colourful IDM-bient pop without sacrificing its emotional qualities. »Ecstatic Editions Vol. 1« ends on a very friendly note after plenty of dancefloor-oriented tracks that knowingly draw on established formulas from rave history without ever feeling obliged to copy them. Conceived and flowing seamlessly like a good DJ set, this compilation is a veritable prism of Li’s varied interests and skills.
Ecstatic Editions Vol. 1