05/06 Andre Sobota - Fragments (Shingo Nakamura, Nocturnal Remixes)
An artist blessed with prodigious crossover talent, Andre Sobota has been a mainstay of the underground dance community's highest echelons since his early work for Proton in 2009. Delivering "Fragments" in February 2016, the Brazilian's work continues to grace the imprint, now further emboldened by a pair of exquisite remixes from Japan and Italy.
Originally from Ibaraki on the Pacific coast, Japanese superstar, Shingo Nakamura, has become a leading force in the progressive house and trance scene. Supported by industry leaders including Max Graham, Gareth Emery and Above and Beyond, Nakamura's renown is global in scope. A regular on the Silk Music imprint, his "Sapporo" album shot to number one in the Beatport Progressive House charts, and, with over a century of productions credits for the label, his influence cannot be overstated. A second album for Otographic combined with further work for the likes of Anjuanadeep and Armada has seen Nakamura hit the headlines with striking regularity.
A regular on both the Particles and Proton Music imprints, an array of remixes has graced the latter as Soundprank, Poison Pro and Derek Howell have all borne witness to a distinctive sound. Now reprising a remix of "One Day Out" in 2010, Shingo Nakamura revisits Andre Sobota with typically dynamic and melodic flair. A huge bouncing bass line provides a strong anchor while cadenced percussion prowess works in harmonious synchronicity with pulsating textured pads. A breakdown of emotive majesty retains the themes of Sobota's original as Nakamura's additional production supplies a leading edge.
Considerable talents in their own right, Italians Danny Lloyd and Andrea Cassino have been at the vanguard of the modern dance scene. Lloyd, a cutting edge figure with a host of production credits for the likes of Lowbit and BCSA, was a highlight of the 2015 Particles calendar with the original "Espejismo" EP highlighting burgeoning talent with its characteristic sound. Andrea Cassino's history is no less storied, cutting an iconic figure alongside Alex Laben from 2001 as Cassino and Laben. A solo artist from 2009, Lowbit, Armada and Soundteller have provided strong foundations for the Cassino sound, supported by the DJ elite in Hernan Cattaneo, Sasha and Richie Hawtin.
As Nocturna, 2014's four-track "Big Bang" EP exploded onto the underground scene via Cattaneo's Sudbeat, a remix of Dousk for Proton Music was a 2015 highpoint. Furthermore, November's "Nocturna – Compiled and Mixed", for the imprint, provided a successful celebration of the duo's work simultaneously demonstrating their impressive DJ skills. Now returning to Proton for a second remix, the Nocturna rework of "Fragments" is a delightful jaunt through intricate percussive rhythms and strong beat. Cleverly reworking the underlying melodic theme of Sobota's work, the additional production work in intermittent sparkling riff and deep, rich bass line has ensured a successful return to the label.
Directed by Jay Epoch
A&R by James Warren
Mastered by Cid Inc., Nocturna
Design by Ben Mautner
Text by James Warren
05/06 Spring Particles 2016
As the short winter days shift perceptibly into longer spring warmth, new life is extended once more into perpetual cycle of Particles seasonal compilations. Bringing together a collection of stunning works, a sextet of artists makes themselves clearly heard.
Returning to Particles after an appearance on the "Summer 2015" edition with the excellent "Silence Between Us", new interpretations of Li-Polymer's work from Matan Caspi and Sapiens and Spring is now followed by two high-calibre tracks. Full of the Portuguese artist's rhythmic flair, the deep house vibe combined with elegant melodic sensibility sees a hypnotic dance floor vibe resonate throughout "Saccharum", a groove revealing itself in post-breakdown zenith as loquacious vocal sample adds texture. "Announce" continues Li-Polymer's subtle rhythmic interplay while breathy pads and stuttered melodic lines reverberate across the upper frequencies. Juxtaposed melodic lines firing across dub bass line in a work of imagination and flair.
A sumptuous contribution comes from Proton progenitor, Biologik. A master of his craft through an array of analogue, modular equipment and modern technical know-how, the Canadian's work has graced countless imprints with support from the industry's finest. Renowned and respected, Biologik's "Healing You" is as beautiful as it is elegant with its uplifting chord progressions and rasping bass prowess in the early movements, graduating into full blown synth energy from the mid-point onwards. As printed image then dissipates in the final movement, sultry rhythms provide the perfect accompaniment in a work of genuine skill.
Marking his 2015 Particles debut through his remix of Omar El Gamal's "Hacienda", Hot TuneiK's work for 76 Recordings and 3rd Avenue, has seen the Mexican artist now delight with his low-slung groove and steadily pulsing bass line prominence. Evolving subtly over its nine-minute outing, white noise powered effects fizz against a chorus of reverb-drenched pads and strings that tell their own story. The clever introduction of a deep, bouncing bass line then adds a further twist of dance floor know-how in the final movement to impressive effect.
Needing little introduction, prolific German based artist, LoQuai, hits his stride with "Replicant" as a vibrant, uptempo percussive pass jostles for attention amongst smooth pads and rich lead lines. The end result is a work of intrigue and melancholy edginess from the 2016 Particles debutant and founder of the newly formed Refined Tunes imprint. Regular on the Inlab and melodic techno imprint, ADRO, Greek producer, Futur-E makes his Particles debut with the driving techno beat of "Octagonal". A repetitive vocal cut and clever melodic riff immediately brings a subconscious recollection of Chemical Brothers African expedition, while pulsating pads bring detailed texture and substance to an intelligent work.
Closing proceedings with a relative newcomer to the underground dance scene, Russian artist, Owersound provides a delicious slice of melodic house joy through "Spiral". After a memorable 2015 which began on Stellar Fountain, Owersound's Particles debut is a sublime collection of shimmering melodic entanglement that bounces effortlessly, aided by strong rhythmic groove, pitched vocal cut and intelligent filtered phrasing.
Directed by Jay Epoch
A&R by Marina Gerardi
Mastered by Li-Polymer, Cid Inc., LoQuai, Following Light, Owersound
Design by Ben Mautner
Text by James Warren
04/25 "In your memory, I'll be here..."
The collaborative form is commonplace in the ever-changing world of dance music. Modern technological innovations have made idea swapping and music-making across continents a twenty-first century phenomenon. No more is such a melting pot of ideas evident than in the work of a clutch of impressive DJs and producers making their Particles debut, as Redux Saints and Paul Sawyer featuring Anki and Jourdan Bordes "Take Me With You" joined by remixes from Israel and Latvia.
With vocal and dub versions across all three artist collaborations featured here, "Take Me With You" is a maturely produced work in both delicately and enticingly sung vocal versions and stripped back dub. Heartfelt lyrics tell of age old proclamations of love lost, while strong house beat anchors effortlessly to rich bass grove. Delicate melodic riffs cascade in pleasing fashion as sumptuous pads create a further layer of textured depth to create a work of skill, poise and intrigue.
The pairing of MINTZ, featuring the combined talents of Eden Cohen and Rami Shalom, have found themselves at the forefront of northern Israel's music scene after meeting during their studies in sound engineering. Working together since 2014, the pair have a penchant for a variety of dance genres, from techno and house to ambient and dub, flavoured with the "golden era of progressive house".
Intelligently reworking the original, Anki's vocal are cleverly applied in filtered and effects-laden fashion to an elegant melodic backdrop full of emotion and analogue flair. Referencing the riff prevalent in the Redux Saints, Paul Sawyer and Jourdan Bordes work, additional production takes the track in an emotive new direction that revels in pitched analogue glory to create an impressive new reworking.
Latvian pair, Blood Groove and Kikis require little introduction to the Particles faithful. Regulars on the Silk Music imprint, March 2014's debut full-length "Wonderland" album provided the duo with continued success as much as it illustrated their rare talent. A plethora of production credits for the likes of Spring Tube, Nueva and Pineapple Digital have continued to shine a bright light onto the Blood Groove and Kikis production prowess as the pair return to Particles after standout remixes of Nikko.Z and GMJ in 2015.
Taking a typically polished approach to remix duties, the Blood Groove and Kikis remix makes full use of the vocal treatment, instantly providing a link to the "Take Me With You" original as a hypnotic rolling bass groove combines with interlocking percussive flair and cultured arpeggio precision. The resulting affair is a work of high-class that echoes Moroder while redolent in modern innovation.
One of the most intriguing things about Brian Cid is the way his mind works: fresh faced producer/DJ to the underground house music scene that%u2019s no amateur around a studio also as a mixing/mastering sound engineer. Read More...