Travis MacDonald’s Agara Music returns this week for their first ever compilation release. We’ve been thoroughly impressed with the Canadian labels output over the course of their now almost one year run. When we heard they were putting together a compilation we expected a lot and they’ve certainly delivered and then some. One quick look at the tracklist and you know there is going to be a wealth of interesting electronica here. ‘Friends From Around The World’ comes with twelve exclusive new productions from the likes of Madloch, Alberto Blanco & Marcelo Paladini, Alessandro Diga, Mauro Norti, Booiamrudolf, D-Mand, Aparde, Max Farlane, Beat Syndrome, Erreome and Roberto Traista.

The final four tracks on the collection get set into motion with Max Farlane’s ‘Naton’. Those of you that remember Max’s rework of Max Cue & Travis MacDonald’s ‘Still Waters’ should absolutely love this. The grainy electronics combined with the uplifting lines are the ultimate contrast and should sound fabulous on a club system. Beat Syndrome’s ‘Centrifuge’ is next and shows once again why Hamed Safi is one of Canada’s top progressive house talents. The bubbly textures and warm bass tones give just a hint of epicness which is ideal to pick things up for the final stretch of the collection. Spanish producer Erreome makes his Agara debut next and provides the ethereal sounding ‘Rare’. The eerie vocal accents, spooky tones and grinding underbelly are tension inducing to say the least. It seems like the ideal selection to precede the closer which you would expect to be a relatively big affair. And with that Roberto Traista has certainly delivered the ultimate closing track. ‘Searching’ is without a doubt Roberto’s crowning achievement to date. His ‘Escape’ EP earlier this year on Agara was good but he’s taken things up a few notches here. ‘The wobbly, character drenched bass line is really fabulous and gives the piece some unsettling energy. What somehow balances everything out though are the swirling hooks and deliberate sounding drums. It’s like the ultimate collision of ruggedness that ends up sounding quite beautiful. Great stuff from Roberto and a perfect conclusion to a great first compilation from Agara.

The music here is exceptional but after a few listens we can also say that the collection has been programmed masterfully. It’s a truly enjoyable listening experience and one that should be in every electronic music fans collection.

Text by: Mitch Alexander ( )
Mastered by: Travis MacDonald ( )