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Album Review: Various Artists – Annie Mac Presents 2013

Look through the tracklisting on the latest instalment of Annie Mac Presents and there will definitely be a handful of tracks – if not more – that’ll have you full-on reminiscing about the summer. Whether you were roughing it in a festival field for the likes of Disclosure, London Grammar and A$AP Rocky or having it large on a party island with Duke Dumont, Chase & Status and Rudimental soundtracking your mad times, this compilation will bring those hazy memories back; well, maybe not all of them. Or, perhaps you spent the summer at various chilled backyard BBQs with the soulful sounds of Klangkarussell, Chris Malinchak and James Blake setting the chilled vibe as you chomp on that burger. Whatever you were up to, AMP feels like it sums up the summer, and it’s cruelly arrived – in the best possible way – to unintentionally rub it in that, realistically, the blazing sun isn’t going to be making an appearance anytime soon.

Mix one, a.k.a. disc one, is full of club bangers and a concoction of original tracks and remixes, while mix two, a.k.a. disk two, is a more laid back ride. It’s a bit like the Now! compilations. One CD with more known, chart-oriented tracks and one with slightly less well known ones, where those who may not have necessarily listened to the piano-driven ‘Indecision’ by Sampha or Ben Pearce’s remix of Le Youth’s super chic, ‘C O O L’ before could/should be enlightened by their presence on AMP.

Getting stuck into mix one means you’ll be bopping along to Jessie Ware’s Julio Bashmore-produced ‘Imagine It Was Us’, Hot Natured’s ‘Reverse Skydiving’ featuring Anabel Englund, and Route 94’s specially commissioned ‘My Love’ with vocals from Jess Glynne. If you want to bust the moves, fast forward to Breach’s ‘Jack’ – however high up you want to place that on the annoying scale – and Friend Within’s ‘The Renegade’. Of course there are loads more, two hours of music in total, but we’d be here until next summer discussing them all.

Mix two warms up with Duke Dumont’s remix of Haim’s ‘Falling’ – which means the chart-topping producer effectively kicks off both mixes, with mix one starting with the A*M*E-featuring ‘Need U (100%)’. We’re treated to many more gems including Cyril Hahn’s nostalgic ‘Perfect Form’, Sam Smith’s glorious ‘Safe With Me’, Wretch 32’s nod to The Lion King with the emotive tribal-sounding vocal echoes on ‘Doing OK’, and the Dave Invisible remix of Laura Mvula’s magical ‘Green Garden’.

Annie’s chosen mixes contrast in the most ideal way, though different moods, they present what’s been happening in music this year and showcase some of the best picks around. Even if they do make us think about the summer a bit too much, at least they can be found in the one place now, when we feel the urge to recall summer 2013.

- Hayley Fox

Annie Mac Presents 2013 is out now on Virgin/EMI Records


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