Max Cue & Travis MacDonald – Dominion (Agara Music)

We last heard from Travis MacDonald’s Agara Music in mid-August with the remix collection for Mauro Norti’s ‘The Cliff’. It was a cutting edge assortment of some of the best up and coming talents in the melodic electronica scene. It’s a sound that continues to be fresh and exciting and also one that Agara has excelled at showcasing. Canadian producer and Agara boss Travis MacDonald laid down his best production to date with his remix of ‘The Cliff’ and this week sees him back on his home imprint for a cool collaboration with Max Cue. The duo have crafted a two track EP entitled ‘Dominion’ which includes a remix from Max Farlane.

Belgian producer Max Cue first appeared on Agara with his remix of Mauro Norti’s ‘Touching Hands’ in February of this year. We’re not sure how the collaboration with Travis came about but it’s yielded one of the most gorgeous tracks of the year in ‘Dominion’. Breathtaking, cinematic and epic are all words that come to mind here. From the moment the melodic haze begins to ascend over the track you can feel something special building. The intricate groove which sits below is absolutely perfect in its simplicity and the ease of which it allows the harmonics to breathe is bang on the money as well. As the main begins to take shape the full melodic theme is eventually revealed and it’s one of the most majestic moments that you’re going here in electronic music this year. Unabashedly epic but still in a tastefully restrained manner and once the growling underbelly of chord changes drops back in it’s a sure fire hands in the air dance floor moment. Great, great stuff from Max and Travis.

The companion piece ‘Still Waters’ proves to the perfect electronica complement to the bigger sounding ‘Dominion’. The eloquent details on the metallic electronics are really outstanding and certainly bring back memories of Charlie May’s Bedrock ‘Emerald’ remixes. As introspective sounding as this piece is the funky groove still proves powerful enough for quite a few dance floors out there so don’t be surprised if you hear this in a cool back room in the not too distant future. An elaborate beauty from Max and Travis which rounds out two solid originals quite nicely.

The lone remix of ‘Still Waters’ comes from Max Farlane who is making his debut appearance on Agara. The German producer first came to our attention with a string of releases on Marc Poppcke’s ‘Crossfrontier Audio’ during the last quarter of 2012. As 2013 began Max added Beachcoma and Cinematique to his discography. Listening to Max’s previous work you can tell that a good amount of time, thought and precision goes into each production. There’s a wide range of elaborate themes explored in his work and this is very evident again on his ‘Still Waters’ interpretation. The brooding electronic groove that Max has crafted here is full of intricate detail and sparkles with life. Max’s twisted take on the melodic theme from the original is spectacular as well; going down somewhere between electrical circuitry gone wrong and sheer aural pleasure this is unique and inspiring work from Max.

Another knock it out of the park release from Travis MacDonald’s Agara Music. Can’t wait to see what this label delivers next. Highly recommended.

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