Alex O’Rion – New Toys EP (Univack)

Spanish label Univack rack up another win with this two-track EP from Dutchman Alex O’Rion, backed by quality remixes from Oscar Vazquez and Rich Curtis.

‘Seven Meals a Day’ is a supercharged progger, driven by crisp percussion and a propulsive rolling bassline, and packed with bleepy melodies and countermelodies. Those melodies really come front and centre during the breakdown, before the bass takes on an even fiercer tone in the second half, only reverting back in the final two minutes. It’s not the kind of sound I go for, but it’s good fun and the melodic ideas are really strong. Unsurprisingly, Oscar Vazquez turns in a top notch remix of ‘Seven Meals…’, stripping back Alex O’Rion’s themes into a classy and atmospheric progressive house number, driving by a fluttering bassline and distinctive stabs.

Alex O’Rion’s second original is ‘The English Burglar’, and I much prefer it to ‘Seven Meals…’. It has the same firing percussion, but a much cooler bass part, which really intensifies after a couple of minutes before starting to hammer out the mysterious main hook, mirrored by eerie chimes. Alex O’Rion’s countermelodies are once again a real strength here, and some cleverly timed drops lead nicely to a Vangelis-inspired final breakdown. This is pretty irresistible stuff for fans of bold, engaging melodic techno. Last up, Rich Curtis provides a characteristically creative and enjoyable remix, keeping Alex O’Rion’s sinister hooks, but organizing the track around a warmer, trancier melody line and rich bass tones. The mid-section of the track plays up the links with the original while surprisingly pushing an electro-breaks sound, before the track drops into a beautiful melodic sequence that carries the track all the way to the end.

This is another solid package from Univack, with Alex O’Rion and Rich Curtis’s versions of ‘The English Burglar’ providing the highlights for me.


What do you think?

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