Surviving for any length of time in the perilous world of the independent record label is something to be applauded, and Singapore's purveyors of the deeper shades of techno and electronica Integrity Records are rightly celebrating five years in the business with the release of an exceptionally good retrospective compilation album.
The tracklist was curated by more than a dozen artists who've previously featured on the label's roster – each tasked with picking personal favourites that they felt best represented the essence of the imprint. The hefty 25 tracks chosen are indeed a fine crop, showcasing the best of the label while also going a long way to explaining why Integrity has managed to survive and flourish in the ever-shifting electronic music landscape. Since its inception, the label's releases have garnered love and support from a long list of heavy hitters, including Âme, Laurent Garnier, Marcel Dettmann, DJ Bone, DJ Deep, Maceo Plex, Kolsch, Dusky, James Zabiela, Terry Francis, Anja Schneider, Detroit Swindle, Fred P, Prins Thomas, Horse Meat Disco, Colin Dale and many more. The label, founded by DJ and producer Eddie Niguel, has embarked on a mission to present essential music from artists both well known and emerging, with renowned players including Fabrice Lig, John Beltran, Greg Gow, Karim Sahraoui, Tony Lionni and Kiko Navarro joining burgeoning talents such as Kocleo, David Jackson, Miles Ellis and minimalArchiv in the colourful ranks.
Label boss Eddie Niguel rightfully features heavily on the comp, with his cultured productions providing the backbone of the album. Some of his highlights include the evolving chords and floor-filling arrangement of 'Do It', and the introspective Detroit flavours and disorienting top-line of 'Absolute'. Elsewhere, Fabrice Lig's nocturnal brooder 'Gazoline' hits hard, while the absorbing acid licks of minimalArchiv's 'Compassion Transitions' provide a fascinating sonic meditation. Stefan Weise's 'TGR' is a blissful journey into atmospheric deep techno, and the hypnotic allure of Dachshund's 'I Must Say' provides another particularly fine heads-down workout.
In truth, the collection is uniformly enjoyable and sure to score points from all corners of the underground. Integrity continues to proudly fly the flag for quality dance music in Asia, and here's to at least another five years of superlative musical output from the team.
'5 Years of Integrity' is available exclusively now at Bandcamp until its worldwide release on September 7, when it will be available in all digital stores