Daphni

Joli Mai

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Arriving a few months after Daphni's excellent Fabriclive 93, Joli Mai presents the tracks Dan Snaith made for that mix in their entirety. Even though both releases obviously have a lot in common, they often feel like opposites: Hearing these tracks as pieces of a puzzle Snaith assembled in real time made for thrilling listening on Fabriclive 93, but here, the parts are slightly more than the whole. While Joli Mai lacks some of the mix's electricity, its full-length songs highlight the sheer range of Snaith's creativity, even if it sometimes leads to a more disjointed listening experience. At first, it's strange to hear songs like the pulsing "Face to Face" come to a complete stop, and although "Carry On" takes intriguing tangents with its breakdowns, it's easy to hear why they were edited out of the mix. The most melodic tracks fare especially well in this setting, with the dreamy, '80s-tinged electro-pop of "Life's What You Make It," "Tin," and "Medellin" providing some of the brightest highlights. Elsewhere, tracks that barely appeared on the mix become standouts here. Chief among them are "Hey Drum," which sounds more like an invocation in this concentrated dose than it did as an echoing fragment woven throughout Fabriclive 93; the dramatic "Xing Tian," and the 2015 single "Vikram," which remains a highlight of Daphni's career. Snaith also expertly expands on the mood he set on the Fabric mix with "Vulture," which didn't appear on the mix but continues the humid, subterranean feel of the rest of these songs with its subtly persistent beat and piercing synths. At times, Joli Mai feels more like a supplemental release than Fabriclive 93 did, and it may be best at providing context: It's another testament to Snaith's production skills, but it also offers more proof of what a compelling DJ he is. Even if Joli Mai's presentation isn't quite as dazzling, the undeniable quality of these tracks makes it a welcome companion piece for more than just completists.

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