Paul Hazendonk and Noraj Cue – Emergence (Proton)

One deeply unfortunate side-effect of the unmanageable slew of new records released each week is that it’s inevitable that you’ll miss a lot. And so we all know the curious blend of excitement and dismay that accompanies finding artists producing stuff that just ticks all of your boxes, and realizing that you’ve been letting their work pass you by. That’s how I’ve been feeling about Manual’s Paul Hazendonk and Noraj Cue this year; both have been hovering on the periphery of my radar for a while, but it took writing a review of a wonderful joint remix they did for Crossfrontier Audio for me to really realise what I was missing. Well, I’m most assuredly listening now, and their latest collaboration ‘Emergence’ is out on Proton with a remix from the mighty Silinder.

‘Emergence’ drops in with a chunky, rolling bassline and sci-fi percussion and atmospherics, building gently for the first two minutes before breathy sweeps and the track’s signature pizzicato melodies are introduced. A brief breakdown is interrupted by a blistering drum roll which launches the even more intense second half, the track doubling-down on the intricate and trippy layers of sound. This is just awesome stuff from Paul Hazendonk and Noraj Cue which gets the balance between bouncy future-funk and deep-space dynamics absolutely spot on, yielding a progressive-techno hybrid that’s bound to satisfy.

Paul Hazendonk and Noraj Cue’s remix of Silinder’s ‘Pavement’ caused a bit of a stir earlier in the summer, quickly earning Hernan Cattaneo’s seal of approval. Here Silinder simultaneously returns the favour and follows up his most lovely ‘Solas’ EP on Proton a few weeks back. He whips ‘Emergence’ into a significantly more menacing affair, which growls and bleeps at the listener from all directions. Twisted ribbons of the original’s melodies are interwoven over a heaving bassline, and a suspenseful breakdown only manages to hold the track back for so long before it pounces once more. This is a bit of a beast of a remix, and it compliments the sunnier original very well.

My own preference here is for Paul Hazendonk and Noraj Cue’s delightful original, but Silinder’s remix will hit the spot for those in a darker frame of mind. Stunning stuff all round from Proton. 8.5/10

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