The 220th release on Balkan Connection sees Los Angeles based producer Josh Abrams making his debut on the label. We’ve been huge fans of Josh since his first release on frisky Records back in January of 2010. The self proclaimed hockey and BBQ lover has since gone on to appear on Movement, LuPS, Lowbit, OLD SQL and Stripped. Josh is also one of the more well known DJs in the USA and has held several popular residencies with Spundae (L.A.), Traffic Events (L.A.) and Qool (L.A) being some of the most well known. His ‘Brown Paper Bag’ show on friskyRadio remains one of the stations most popular shows and if that wasn’t enough he’s also an Audio Visual Coordinator at 20th Century Fox Studios. Josh’s debut for Balkan Connection is entitled ‘Dark Night’ and it comes with remixes from: Exoplanet, Tash, Jelly For The Babies and Ewan Rill.
Josh’s ‘Dark Night’ original begins with a very well produced club friendly groove. Ascending stabs, bell accents and lovely melodic sequences tantalize the senses as the track reaches the first drop. A soft atmospheric soundscape comes over the track as some wonderful musicality develops with some soulful sounding guitar parts taking centre stage. The track picks back up with a subtle flair and the widescreen bells seem to hint at a monumental moment that’s building. As the melodic sequences re-enter a sweeping tension fills the air to reveal the soaring and soulful lead which weaves its way through a variety of harmonically stimulating twists and turns for what results in a spectacular climax. Easily Josh’s best work to date and it’s pretty clear he’s been working very hard in the studio.
The first remix is supplied by Exoplanet who has just come off great outings on Mistique, Particles and Lowbit. The Dutch producer is making his fourth appearance on Balkan Connection here and he’s delivered a futuristic, spacey sounding interpretation for the ages. The unmistakable bells open the piece off and soon a skippy energetic groove forms. The intricate melodic lines begin to weave their way through the techno framework as the track builds. The growling acidic underbelly adds some great character while the serene soundscapes cast an ethereal vibe over the production through its second act. The full melodic complement is eventually realized as the track begins to peak with sweeping harmonics providing a blissful vibe which should have the full attention of your dance floor.
The next remix of ‘Dark Night’ is supplied by Movement Recordings head man DJ Tash who at this point should really need no introduction. His label has grown into one of the strongest the progressive house genre has to offer and his solo productions are finding their way onto influential European imprints like Tribal Vison and Iboga. Tash’s ‘Dark Night’ interpretation comes with a tough club friendly framework that’s accented with some nice electronic hooks. Opting for a more stripped down interpretation Tash’s tech house groove dominates until after the five minute mark where the melodic subtleties come to fruition as the track strips itself down. It’s a heavenly melodic section from Tash that sounds tailor maid for a sunrise set.
The next remix comes from one of Balkan Connection’s biggest contributors Jelly For The Babies. Serbian producer Marijan Raskovic aka Jelly For The Babies is making his 20th appearance on Balkan Connection and has been turning in spectacular work for the label in recent months with his remixes of Beat Maniacs & Senores Funkees, Jericho Ismael and Paul Martinez & Fiddler all faring well in our overall Hype Chart. Jelly For The Babies ‘Dark Night’ remix comes with a deep, serene and rainy day type vibe. It proves to be a great complement to the previous mixes as it offers a much deeper take on the track. The subtle hypnotics and incredibly blissful breakdown are such a pleasure to listen to that it’s one of those records you will likely never tire of listening to.
The package is closed out with Ewan Rill who is also one of the main Balkan Connection artists with this being his 32nd appearance on the label. The Russian producer came on strong in 2012 with quality releases on Mistique, Balkan Connection and Stripped. The first 3 months of 2013 have been incredibly prolific for Ewan as he has already racked up 24 releases. Ewan has crafted a smooth, club friendly interpretation of ‘Dark Night’ that comes with big epic synth lines, bassy growls and a subtle take on the melodic elements from the original which present a tastefully restrained vibe. A massive package from Balkan Connection with Josh Abrams delivered his best ever production to date. Highly Recommended. Release Promo Hype Chart Top 25