After years of waiting for a proper CD release from electronic dance music legend Eric Prydz, today sees the release of not just an album, but a three disc set of unreleased and classic Eric Prydz productions under the banner “Eric Prydz presents: Pryda“. We’ve been anxiously awaiting today’s release date here at thekeytothehouse, so let’s get right our Pryda album review!
The three discs contain, respectively, 13 previously unreleased Pryda tracks (Pjanoo being the exception, although it appears in the form of a new edit from Prydz himself), and two retrospective mixed discs that sees Prydz pulling out the best of his back catalog together with some more recent productions and the result is simply fantastic.
The first disc of new material opens with “Shadows” which sets the tone perfectly for the rest of the set: a slick cohesion between thick, heavy basslines and simple, yet strong melodic synth leads. “Shadows” nicks a portion of “Old and Wise” from the Alan Parsons Project and it works very nicely. “Javlar”, “Sunburst”, “SW4” and my personal favourite, “Mighty Love”(view comments below to find out the sample ID!), are all standout tracks here, as is “You” in both its original form and as an interlude/transition into the re-edit of “Pjanoo” which closes out this disc. Overall, an excellent listen with very few flat moments. “Agag” lost me a bit halfway through but “Leja” is an interesting tune where the bassline serves to carry the melody. The disc definitely benefits from some nice sequencing and pacing and can more than hold its own against other electronic albums currently making the rounds. In fact, it could flatten them.
The first of the two mixed discs is comprised mostly from the first series of releases under the Pryda moniker and record label. Opening with “Lesson One” makes good sense and then it’s a jolly good romp through some classic Pryda hits including “Rakfunk”, a re-edited version of “Aftermath”, “Armed” and “Muranyi”. The second last track on the first disc is, amazingly, Prydz’s remix of “1983” by Paolo Mojo. When I first saw the tracklisting for the set, I was thrilled to see this on here as it is an absolute masterpiece of a remix and really showcases just how good Eric is in the studio. This is a somewhat dated production by today’s standard, but it definitely deserves to be here for the depth of the production alone. Prydz exhibits absolute mastery of synths and sequencing, achieving a balance between his throbbing basslines and bottom end groove and the simple, repetitive and gorgeous synth melodies that he layers on top.
The second mixed disc picks up right where the first leaves off, cheekily opening with “The End”. Classics like “RYMD”, “Waves”, “Glimma” and “Juletider” are all here, together with some new edits of “Viro” and “MELO”. The big guns on this one are the simply breathtaking “2Night” and the angelic-synth-meets-dirty-funk sounds of “M.S.B.O.Y.” (special props if you know what the acronym stands for. If you do, comment below!). Both discs are excellent listens and they certainly demonstrate Prydz’s knack for smooth programming. Nothing fancy on the mixing here, but with material as good as this, there’s no real need for it. He lets a lot of the selections on both discs ride well past the eight-minute mark, which is great to see for a change.
Given the mainstream success that his commercial offerings like “Call On Me” and “Proper Education” brought him, it is very refreshing to see that Prydz is giving us what he does best: very personal productions created without compromise, tight programming, and consistency. It is extremely rare today to see an electronic artist that brings a noticeable overall quality of production to every single track they make. I have know idea how he does it. What I do know is that if over the span of three discs 95% of what’s on them is top of the top level tunage, the man is doing something right. For the dance music enthusiast, there is simply no reason not to go out and pick this up.
The single-disc version alone is worth the money, but the full three disc set is what the discerning listener will cherish and it satisfies the cravings Pryda fans have had for a proper set of his productions quite nicely. Now they have 37 all together in one place. While some may be disappointed that some key productions (namely “Wakanpi”, “Lift” and “Niton (The Reason) aren’t included, there’s more than enough to make up for it. So go out and get it. NOW.