Various artists Tresor 30 Tresor
This 30th birthday release from a Berlin institution leaves absolutely nothing in the locker. Fifty-two tracks, 12 discs and a concept that acts as both a timely reminder of the label’s indelible and prestigious output from yesteryear and a manifesto for its immediate future.
The release is sprinkled with new commissions and specially-recorded pieces, with a nearly a third of the artists featured across the release identifying as women or non-binary. Accordingly, the best moments here are delivered by emergent artists, such as the gritty toughness essayed by Tygapaw, the high energy broken electro of Sophia Saze and the transportive ambience of Carlota. But aside from being highlights, these vital tracks prevent the sprawling compilation being bogged down by the sheer weight of the label’s history.
Naturally though, the big names are very much present and correct. Tracks by Jeff Mills, Juan Atkins, Porter Ricks, Basic Channel and Robert Hood underscore the label’s storied beginnings in the 90s, when it formed an essential connection between Detroit and Berlin. The emphasis on Detroit is made clear from the outset – the compilation begins with the still-staggering Final Frontier by Underground Resistance, a track that still sounds so futuristic that it’s hard to imagine how synapse-boggling it must have been in 1991.
As a label document, Tresor 30 delivers on its tricky brief. By artfully balancing those two needs – paying tribute to a remarkable history and pointing to the next chapter where new narratives can flourish – the label’s relevance is asserted once more. We’re looking forward to seeing what its fourth decade will bring.