Their latest project is an In The House mix for Defected, a compilation which represents the culmination of a life spent in and around house music. Including tracks from Chez Damier, Ben Westbeech, Claude von Stroke, Kraak & Smaak, Gregor Salto and many more, Chocolate Puma have remixed and re-edited almost every track, with an end result halfway between mix compilation and artist album.
The result is a concerted effort to convey the feeling of a Chocolate Puma live set. “Back in the day a DJ could take you anywhere, from deep vocal stuff to bumping MK tracks to the harder hardfloor acid and we would just call it 'House'” explains Gaston. “We still hold to that philosophy and our DJ sets are still all over the place, as we think that's far more exciting than just to stick to one style.” It’s an outlook that is demonstrated across both discs of the mix. With various genres cobbled together it’s an approach that in unskilled hands could end up being an indistinct, schizophrenic mess; in this case it’s anything but.
In terms of the tracklist itself, both familiar and more leftfield names abound, with the vast majority of inclusions given a Chocolate Puma twist of magic especially for the project. “We've always been big fans of Romanthony's work” reveals Rene "so we were very happy to have our remix of his track with Kraak & Smaak and the Deetron edit of ‘Bring U Up."
As you’d expect from a duo who made their names in the studio before taking to the decks, a number of their own inimitable records are included, one of which is the Kurizu remix of ‘Destiny’, a cut which started life as a bootleg but was so well received that it now gets an official release, exclusive to this compilation. Other favourites are John Roman's Sala which the duo have been championing for more than a year now, and Chez Damier's Untitled and Groove Decade's Dispute, 2 tracks from the 90's that still sound as fresh and relevant as the day they were crafted.
With 2012 marking the 20th anniversary of the release of ‘Give It Up’, Rene and Gaston continue to stand for quality in a music scene littered with mediocrity, setting ever-higher standards for their own productions and inspiring new generations of producers with every beat, bass thump and joyously raised hand. As this new compilation proves, Chocolate Puma are a benchmark for excellence, hard-work and talent; long may they continue to fly the flag.