Reaching yet another milestone with his brand new "Why Do You Love Me?" EP for Proton Music, Australian, Matt Rowan, has been at the vanguard of the progressive and tech house movement since the late 1990s. A classically trained musician with DJ credentials of the highest order, his residency at Sydney's leading progressive night, SweetChilli was the catalyst for a career that has grown rapidly in the twin spheres of production and club performance. Playing alongside such homeland legends as Chris Fortier, Anthony Pappa and Steve Porter plus a host of international stars, Rowan carved out a niche sound that would see regular DJ appearances at home and across the globe to rapturous acclaim.
A DJ career established; production work that began in 2006 achieved immediate success. Collaborative work with industry heavyweight, Jaytech, saw the track "Tomorrow" licensed to Dave Seaman's "Renaissance Masters Series Part 7", while a twin-track EP was signed to Nick Warren's Hope. Further success followed and Rowan's production portfolio engages a host of industry leading labels and artists. Baroque, Curvve, Outside The Box and Armada sit loftily alongside industry stalwarts such as, Danny Bonnici, Kriece, Derek Howell and Dousk, as production work alternated with multiple DJ compilations for leading imprints.
2008's "I Play This" saw a debut album received to critical acclaim while Matt Rowan's work for Proton has been in bountiful supply since a first appearance in 2006. A surfeit of original productions and remixes has graced the imprint, culminating in 2012's stunning, "Basics" album. Fifteen tracks of blistering quality showcased Rowan's unique production talents in the tech and progressive house arenas, supported by the likes of Ad Brown, Zack Roth and Mango. Now, reprising 2012's success, Matt Rowan returns to Proton Music with his four-track, "Why Do You Love Me?" EP leaving Jay Epoch to proclaim, "A legend is back!"
Coupled with typically imaginative artwork from Ben Mautner, the title track itself is a groove-laden jewel mined from the depths of underground bass. A crunchy, robotic voice intermittently questions, "Why Do You Love Me?" as clicking, popping percussive rhythms mingle joyously with filtered arpeggios and sublime chord stabs to create a modern house masterpiece. By contrast, "In The Morning" follows a lighter, upbeat path with its combination of house beats, glassy riffs and melodic interplay, balanced securely on a foundation of subtle bass rhythm.
"Toy Box" provides a moment of unadulterated peak-time joy as an arpeggiated bass line provides instant energy. A collage of top end riffs and complementary motifs play their part in a dynamic, vibrant offering that provides a retrospective vibe from the heyday of progressive house. Final track, "Lazy Raver" continues the effervescence of its predecessor as a similarly vibrant bass line, rapid-fire hats and shakers provide a platform for a series of stabs and melodies to build in repetitive filtered glory. The upshot is a club track of unrivalled skill and verve from a producer very much at the top of his game.
While Matt Rowan is entitled to ask, "Why Do You Love Me?" the answer is easily found within the quartet of stellar offerings that comprise his new EP.
A&R by Jay Epoch Mastered by Cid Inc. Design by Ben Mautner Text by James Warren
03/03 Michael A steps out from "Behind the Moon"
Situated on the banks of the River Pripyat, Mikhail Akulich has found fertile ground for a unique production style from his home in the oil refining city of Mozyr in southern Belarus. Resulting now in his "Behind The Moon" EP for Particles, Mikhail's Michael A production moniker has embraced a variety of production styles that have resulted in a clutch of works in "progressive house and techno" with what he terms, "a minimalist slant".
2013 proved a breakthrough year for Michael. After the "Muse" and "Out Of My Mind" EPs for Fluro Music in 2012, an abundance of original material found its way to a raft of quality imprints including L3D, Stellar Fountain and Balkan Connection, plus regular appearances in Beatport's "Must Hear" charts. Indeed in August, the "Intelligences" EP for the latter went on to receive high profile remixes from Dutch maestro, Exoplanet and in vogue Hungarian producer, MiraculuM, further repeating the trick on the label's "Winter 2013" compilation.
An appearance on the "Fall Particles 2013" compilation with his track "Castle" marked Michael A's first, groove laden outing with the label as we now announce the release of his full debut EP in the shape of the three-track, "Behind The Moon" EP.
Encompassing the trademark blend of melody and rhythm inherent in his work, the title track is resplendent in the immaculate groove that accompanies the Michael A name. A driving, vibrant affair, "Behind The Moon" commences with dominant 4/4 kick drum and prepares a textured feast of layers as an entree. Rich pads and thickly detuned lead lines permeate throughout to give an ethereal presence of innovative joy.
"Future" provides a darker and somewhat more pensive moment. Twisted, wailing vocal cuts play alongside strong beat as a bass line bounces effortless along cleverly interlocking and sparse percussive rhythm. Subtle melodic riffs complete the picture to create an intriguing ominous atmosphere.
Final track, "Restless Wind" lifts the mood with its delightful tom and clave rhythms combined with rapid-fire hi-hats. A soft house groove follows as infectious stabs play out a rhythmic pattern of dance-floor dynamism while a light arpeggio and soft hypnotic melody complete a seductive pattern of woven instrumentation.
A debut EP for Particles sees Michael A shine as he steps forward out of the shadows from "Behind The Moon".
Directed by Jay Epoch
A&R by Marina Gerardi
Mastered by Michael A
Design by Ben Mautner
Text by James Warren
02/27 Scotty.A's Expressions of the Soul
A year to remember has seen Scott Andrews emerge triumphant in 2013, further cementing a career that has risen steadily since he burst onto the underground house scene in 2011, as he now enters 2014 with his "Expressions of the Soul" for Proton Music. Under his Scotty.A contraction, Scott's notoriety in hometown DJ circles from the turn of the millennium in Norwich, has quickly blossomed into events across the UK and beyond. Subsequent appearances at Ministry of Sound, Turnmills, and Pacha in the London capital have been augmented by a series of impressive international gigs. Alongside such luminaries as Dave Seaman, Guy J and Oliver Lieb, Scotty.A has delivered a compelling blend of cross-genre underground sounds that have led to appearances at John Digweed's Bedrock night in London and an extraordinary performance at Sasha's New Year's Eve, Last Night On Earth event at London's famous Brixton Academy in front of 5,000 celebrating fans.
A similarly impressive production career first saw the Scotty.A name up in lights as a result of winning the Denis A remix competition for the track "Heroin". A subsequent release on DAR Digital launched a production career that has continued a steep upwards trajectory and has seen almost 100 Beatport production credits to his name on imprints such as ARVA, Axon, and Balkan Connection.
A productive year for Proton has seen a remix of Tvardovsky's "Path of Light" and a full release of "What makes Us Smile" for Particles, followed by the release of two original works for the flagship Proton Music label in the shape of "The World Turns" and "Natural Senses" EPs. Supported by Hernan Cattaneo, Ben Coda and Jacob Henry, Scotty.A now returns to Proton Music at the start of 2014 with the stunning twin-track, "Expressions of the Soul".
Opening track, "The Way She Smiles", sees Scott embracing his inimitable "hypnotic amalgamation of house, techno and electronica" with a tech house gem full of luscious sheen. Shimmering chord stabs weave a rhythmic pattern beneath swaying percussive hats and a bass line that prints its melodic underpinnings upon the listener's very soul. As textured layers evolve, ebbing and flowing with unconscious ease, the listener is treated to something very special indeed.
Partner track, "Soul Blossom", revels in underground progressive glory. Subtle melodic motifs full of glassy reverberated texture, play charmingly against a collage of soft hypnotic stabs and straight house beats to form a bed on which they lie in perfect harmony. A cadenced bass line completes the picture as is drives the track relentlessly onwards allowing the melodic components to flourish with majestic ease.
As Scotty.A continues on his path of musical enlightenment, his "Expressions of the Soul" are a source of rich spiritual nourishment.
Directed by Jay Epoch
A&R by Renee Ugarteche
Mastered by Cid Inc.
Design by Ben Mautner
Text by James Warren
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