James Gill – Sphinx EP (System Recordings)

DJ/Producer James Gill has been a fixture of the New York club scene for many years. In addition to playing several of the city’s top venues with internationally acclaimed talent James has also created his own ‘ReInvented’ brand of events which have been hugely successful. Recently James had the honour of sharing the decks with Henry Saiz and Robert Babicz to a packed house at Cielo. On the production front James has enjoyed a nice resurgence this year with releases on System Recordings and Progrez. This week finds the New York producer returning to System Recordings for his first EP entitled ‘Sphinx’.

James’ discography is quite short but dates back to 2007 with a couple of releases on Acute Recordings. After one listen to the lead track here it’s clear that James has logged a significant amount of time in the studio even if his discography may not necessary reflect that. ‘Sphinx’ is a great representation of contemporary progressive house done right. The hypnotic elements are extremely strong and the surrounding electronics are a sonic delight. The break in particular is a great dance floor moment just waiting to happen. The monumental build is tastefully epic and the suitably downplayed payoff is sure to get a reaction from a clued up crowd. Excellent stuff from James.

The lone remix of ‘Sphinx’ is supplied by Matias Chilano who I have been raving about for the last year or so. The Argentinean producer has nailed down an intoxicating production style that has been much loved in the progressive house underground. This is Matias’ third appearance on System and it’s great to see him back on the storied US label. For his ‘Sphinx’ interpretation Matias has slowly the tempo down just a touch and put his own unique atmospheric sheen on the piece. The glacial lines are completely mesmerizing and how Matias has re-invented the break is quite special. You can’t go wrong with either version of ‘Sphinx’ as both get high praise from me.

The second original included on the EP is entitled ‘SagittariusA’ and it proves to be the perfect complement to ‘Sphinx’. The buoyant beats have a remarkable bounce and the elastic like lines just add to the shuffling hooks of the record. James has again crafted a standout main break with an array of sonic sound design accompanied by the grooves underbelly which serves to raise some sizable tension before the dramatic sweep and resounding payoff. All three cuts here are very strong and make for one of System’s top releases of 2014. Don’t miss it.

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