Although still very much in its infancy, Australian label FutureForm Music has been making great headway in the progressive/techno scene. Their first two releases have featured stellar talent from the likes of Quivver, Cid Inc, DNYO and Kasey Voorn; all household names for the discerning electronic music lover. With release number three label co-owner Verve teams up with Adam Antine to bring us the “Red Ball of Dawn” EP. And what a killer EP it is! Full of swirling melodies, super groovy basslines, iridescent percussions and futuristic effects this EP is pure aural joy.
“Red Ball of Dawn” comes courtesy of Verve & Adam Antine. Both producers have had excellent releases in the past and with this one they continue showcasing their amazing production skills. The original track starts off with a distinctive pulsing pad and filtered beats accompanied by some very cool spacey chords and rich sweeping synths. Hints of the very groovy bassline are introduced fairly early on and it is teased out to its full splendour around the 3-minute mark. The song is developed very organically with a multitude of intersecting melodies and swirling pads all working together brilliantly. Sharp hats, subtle snare rolls and noise cuts provide good rhythmic contrast to the rich melodic composition of the song. The stunning breakdown halfway through the song works the slowly arpeggiating delayed melodies and grows to a mammoth pulsating monster with the help of the rich bassline and some superb production wizardry. The break is followed by a return to the full song charge while still playing around with the melodies and the bassline variations from the break, tying in the two superbly. Verve & Adam Antine have really done a spectacular job with “Red Ball of Dawn” as their song can work equally well in the lounge room or the club.
Verve also brings us his “Verve Dub Mix” as track number two on the EP. With this version Verve offers a slightly tougher and choppier interpretation of the original. The omission of the slowly arpeggiating melodies gives this version a clubbier feel that will work nicely in later sets. Verve includes lovely choppy vocals in the place of those missing melodies that float beautifully over the tougher bassline and beats and follow the song through right until the end. This dub mix complements the original from Verve & Adam Antine very nicely and gives two quite different, yet connected songs.
On the remix duties, first up is Canadian Tim Penner. Tim has given us plenty of amazing originals and remixes in the past, but what he has done with the remix of “Red Ball of Dawn” is really nothing short of being a masterpiece! Insane percussive and noise cuts, subtle filtering of the distinctive pad from the original, as well as a deep, driving bassline bring the listener right into what is to be a crazy musical ride! Around the 1.30-minute mark Tim brings in a barrage of crazy oscillating and intersecting melodies only to take it all back and continue on with a super-pumping monster of a groove at the 2-minute mark. Soon thereafter he brings the pulsing pad back to great effect and slowly starts to introduce more and more sonically insane sounds that will send shivers down your spine. Despite sounding insane, they all fit superbly in the whole sonic universe that Tim presents us. The main break is really one of the best that I’ve heard anyone do (without exaggeration) and can only be properly understood and comprehended by listening to it! Do it now. You won’t regret it. The heaving monster that returns from the break will surely light up the dancefloors all around the world. Tim’s superb production skills as well as sonic ideas and melodies are really showcased here and we hope that through this remix more and more people will gain an appreciation for his unique take on the progressive/techno sound.
The final remix comes courtesy of Australian Maddy Hughes aka FunkForm. This young and extremely talented rising star of the deep progressive sound shows us with his take of “Red Ball of Dawn” exactly why he is becoming a firm favourite amongst many DJs around the world. FunkForm’s remix is a rich tapestry of echoing melodies and spacey percussions from the original that ride on the chugging beats and bassline. Very early on this song gains larger-than-life proportions, yet still manages to keep plenty of class and subtlety. The rich swirling pads slowly come in and out throughout the piece and make the whole song a very pleasurable and diverse musical experience. FunkForm’s scaling down of the beats towards the end leave the beautiful melodies and pads, as well as the bassline, to stand on their own as the listener is followed out of the “Red Ball of Dawn” universe.
Rarely do we get to hear such an impressive release these days where all the tracks included show so much variation, ingenuity and energy, yet maintain the connectedness throughout and present a musical story. This is without doubt one of those. Our collective hats go off to Verve & Adam Antine, Tim Penner, FunkForm and of course FutureForm Music.