From the Belgrade capital, Serbian duo Petar Bogojevic and Nikola Radivojevic have led an illustrious assault on the underground dance industry through their Beat Maniacs production soubriquet. Now Particles welcomes back the duo with their debut original EP in the shape of "Gravitas".
Both fully committed to their craft, Petar's accomplished guitar playing led him to develop a deep understanding and appreciation for electronic music, while Nikola's father introduced him to electronic music pioneers Kraftwerk and Jean-Michel Jarre which would form a cornerstone and benchmark for subsequent musical tastes. Regular DJ performances together as part of the Belgrade's "Sensation" party in 2011 and 2012, ultimately saw Beat Maniacs become part of the "Wicked DJs" concept, in turn helping Petar and Nikola shape an understanding of what worked on the dancefloors as the Beat Maniacs team began to write their own music to unleash on an awaiting public.
Thus, with over a century-and-a-half production credits to their name, Beat Manaics have created a strong fan base for their work. A 2010 debut on Quebolarecords soon paved the way for a raft of original and remix material to find its way on to such celebrated imprints as Stellar Fountain, Lowbit and Balkan Connection as the duo found themselves working alongside Matt Darey on July 2015's "Let It Go", for the legend's own Nocturnal Nouveau.
"Monday Memories" formed a rich and evocative debut for Beat Maniacs as part of the ten-track "Winter Particles 2014" compilation as now Petar and Nikola venture forth with dramatic "Gravitas". The title track itself is a deep, rich offering that pulsates forward menacingly with its subterranean bass line, tempered somewhat by a light airy, fizzing pad and a wondrously glassy lead riff that sprinkles magic like fairy dust across the upper frequencies in its freeform glory. A dominant kick and ticking hi hats make their presence felt as an 808 clap punctures the rhythmic melange in the early movements with its distinctive offbeat character.
Partner track, "Vol Pour Hernano" continues the rich undertones of its predecessor as a crackling vinyl atmosphere pervades the stereo spectrum in warm, comforting familiarity, combined with a strong rhythmic bed and cadenced percussion. A deep melodic bass riff plays a strong role in laying the foundations for a track that oozes quality with its intelligent melodic sequences and hypnotically held arpeggio.
Suitably erudite in its intelligent construction, the "Gravitas" of Beat Maniacs' work is testament to serious producers who continues to make a strong impression.
Directed by Jay Epoch A&R by Marina Gerardi Mastered by Cid Inc. Design by Ben Mautner Text by James Warren
08/05 Navar - Ava Mea (Stas Drive, Scotty.A Remixes)
An artist with immense respect among his peers, Navar's production work has always garnered high praise. With the three-track "Ava Mea" part of an ever-impressive catalogue, Proton Music now returns to the EP with remixes from the UK and Ukraine's finest, opening up a trilogy of remix EPs for the Dutch master.
An artist whose reputation and success has outward grown rapidly since production work began to hit the virtual shelves in 2012, Stas Drive has been a revelation. However, such success does not account for the huge amount of time invested as a DJ, producer and teacher across his Ukrainian homeland since 2006. A self-taught sound engineer, Stas has brought a distinctive blend of techno and underground progressive sounds to dance floors and his studio that has seen him enrapture audiences wherever he plays.
A star-studded production career has thus seen Stas Drive feature heavily on some of dance music's leading imprints. Sudbeat, microCastle and Hope have all played host to the Ukrainian's work with a collection of original and remix work. Indeed, it was with the track, "Arjuna", that Stas found himself featured on Nick Warren's seminal "Soundgarden" compilation in 2014. A debut contribution to Proton Music via a remix of Soulwerk's "Spiritcatcher" in late 2015 now sees him working his magic on Navar's title track. A compelling piece that captures the soul of the original, the Stas Drive remix turns "Ava Mea" into a pensive yet forceful offering. A deep kick and intricate rhythm session make their presence felt as a grooved bass line and melange of counterpoint synth lines evolve elegantly across a nine-minute journey that provide an exciting new dance floor variation to Navar's work.
UK based producer, Scotty.A, operating out of the East Anglian city of Norwich, needs little introduction to the Proton faithful. A man whose distinctive melodic work has done much to define the underground progressive genre, has seen his sound evolve and mature as he moves seamlessly into the deep house and techno genres with a steely determination. A regular across the clubs of his homeland since the turn of the millennium, Scotty's performances at Pacha, Ministry of Sound and the famous Brixton Academy have lit up London's dance scene with appearances alongside Sasha, John Digweed, Guy J and Jimmy Van M to name but a few.
A dazzling production career has seen a catalogue of high-profile releases on the likes of DAR Digital, Paper Jet and Tulipa, while a plethora of production credits for Proton Music have seen a clutch of original works in the shape of the "Touching the Void", "Tomorrow" and "Natural Senses" EPs, backed by a series of world-class remixes and the impressively curated "Transatlantic" EP. Now returning to Proton, the Scotty.A "Bali Remix" is a delightfully uplifting rework that lifts the vocal phrases out of the distinctive "Sacred Bali Spirit" and places them into a newly worked version of "The Slowbeq Paragraph". A delicate, deep house rhythm and seismic kick interact elegantly with newly grooved melodic phrasings that continue the deep house theme evolving effortlessly from the mid-point onwards with rich textured pads adding further interest.
Directed by Jay Epoch
AandR by James Warren
Mastered by Cid Inc.
Design by Ben Mautner
Text by James Warren
08/01 Sapiens & Springa - The Version (James Monro, Idham Remixes)
In the autumn of 2015 the four-track "The Version" EP from collaborative pairing Sapiens and Springa, was a study in striking underground progressive house and modern techno brilliance allied to Ben Mautner's stunning artwork. As Particles now revisits the EP, we showcase two brand new remixes from UK and Malaysian talent.
UK born but now full ensconced in the Brazilian jungle, James Monro is a man with a rich and varied history in the world of dance music. With over three-decades experience, regular DJ jaunts across the globe have seen him visit the clubs of the world including Ibiza's famous Amnesia and Tokyo's renowned Womb with appearances alongside Carl Cox and Sasha. Famous for the the successful Flying Rhino and 4D labels, production work from his adopted South American home in Encantada, has seen Monro garner considerable success. Music that has featured on John Digweed's "Structures 2" compilation saw support and chart success from no lesser lights than Hernan Cattaneo and Robert Babicz and the shimmering "Ambientworx 7" feature on Nick Warren's "Renaissance: Masters Series" compilation. Additional work for Flow and Proton Music have captured a distinctive and unique sound that has seen success through a steady supply of original material.
Although seeing a quartet of remixes through "Serum" and "Nectar", Monro's own contribution to Particles was marked by a scintillating remix of Derek Howell in early 2015. Now returning to the label, James Monro's remix of "Extroversion" takes the original's deep emotive bass line, wrapping it in a crisp percussive shell that sparkles alongside rich textured string pads. A raft of additional production brings new melodic dynamism to Sapiens and Springa's work and the twisted vocal cuts that are a staple of the original add resonant themes to a striking dance floor reinterpretation.
From the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur resident, Idham, is a relative newcomer to the world of commercial production in the underground dance scene. A man driven by a passion to make music, he likens the creative process to the most basic of human functions, "music is like breathing" and thus something that one can never grow tired of and cease to practice. A single solo release in the shape of "Rah" marked a 3rd Avenue debut in April 2015 while a collaborative pairing with f.a.f.a.u saw a high profile release on December 2015's "Tour De Traum XI". With a follow up release in conjunction with f.a.f.a.u in "Wenang" set for BC2 in early June as part of the "Spring Sampler 2016" compilation, Idham's portfolio looks set to quickly expand.
Making his debut for Particles, the Idham remix of "Introversion" reveals itself from behind a soft breakbeat cadenced rhythm that lilts enticingly through its eight-minute journey. Cleverly reinterpreting Sapiens and Springa's work, themes inherent in the original make their presence felt while a plethora of original production material sees Idham's work chart a new voyage that evolves through shimmering arpeggio and hypnotic melodic sequences. The result is a very promising debut from and exciting new producer.