The 173rd release on Manual Music welcomes Alex Preda back to the label for his debut EP.
The Romanian born (now Netherlands based) artist has found a home on the Paul Hazendonk directed imprint, having contributed three original productions to the labels hugely popular ‘Manualism’ and ‘Movement’ compilation series. Alex has enjoyed a great summer, in addition to productions on Cinematique and Stripped Recording, he was chosen to showcase his DJ skills at the CantaCuzino Frequencies event in Romania alongside Nick Warren, Guy Mantzur, My Favorite Robot and many others. Now Alex steps up to deliver his first ever EP for Manual Music alongside remixes from Paul Hazendonk and Arnas D.
The EP begins with the deep and ethereal ‘Chasing Lights’. For electronic music fans who have followed Alex’s career you know he’s quite adept at crafting a wide range of styles, from contemporary dance floor material to more emotive, thought provoking pieces. ‘Chasing Lights’ might be the best of both worlds with it’s perfectly contoured grooves and luminous ambiance. From striking organ motifs to fuzzy vocal stabs the main break is a true aural delight. The drop keeps things laid back and cool, with the vortex of vocal gates and ethereal drifts taking you home to a heavenly conclusion.
The lone interpretation of ‘Chasing Lights’ is provided by Paul Hazendonk. The Dutch producer and Manual Music label boss is coming off a huge third quarter of 2015, highlighted by releases on Flow Vinyl and Einmusika, along with an increasingly busy gig schedule. For his ‘Chasing Lights’ interpretation Paul has added some of his most loved production hallmarks, all while conveying the great mood from the original in a fresh and inspired way. Anchored by an energetic groove, the escalating motif soon comes to light amidst a glimmering band of electronics. The first act presents a smooth rise in tension before the piece opts for a roller-coaster of emotional moments, eventually peaking with a rush of clustered hooks, white noise and beats, all uniting for a spectacular moment of sonic colour.
The companion piece ‘DNA Matching’ finds Alex collaborating with one of electronic music’s most in demand vocal talents. Canadian artist Amber Long has a long line of underground classics which have been added to her discography over the last two years. Studio work with Mike Griego and Navid Mehr yielded the memorable ‘Sofia’ and ‘Gathas’ which remain two of this year’s most memorable progressive house productions. On ‘DNA Matching’ Alex builds anticipation with a tough foundation, blissful vocal pads and a barrage of claps carrying some discernible tension. It’s the ideal storyboard for the eventual reveal of Amber’s heart-rending vocals, which drop in during the first break and set off a siren-like build to reconvene the groove for a magic moment. The main break expands on the vocal narrative, as a brief moment of bliss gets whisked away with the siren-esque lead once again smashing your senses for the ultimate payoff. Expect a massive reaction on this one.
The lone interpretation of ‘DNA Matching’ is provided by Arnas D who is making his debut on Manual Music. The Lithuanian producer has long been one of his country’s most beloved electronic music artists. After being announced as the winner (alongside sometime studio partner Kastis Torrau) in Sasha’s Burn Studios remix competition, Arnas went on to appear on the storied DJ’s ‘Last Night On Earth’ imprint two additional times, and his dynamic club grooves found favour with many world-class DJs as a result. For his ‘DNA Matching’ interpretation Arnas has delivered an electric sounding dub perfectly tailored for a wide range of contemporary dance floors. The Lithuanian’s crunchy groove is anchored with thick, elastic-like bass stabs while haunting vocal pads and scattered hits trail through the framework. A radical reshape on the siren motif initiates the main break where an ethereal haze of pads hover above the growling underbelly. A quick drop and reprocessed section of the vocal then quickly sparks the groove back to life, for the ultimate magic dance floor moment. Superb remix from Arnas which closes the release out in fine style. An excellent offering from Manual Music and a debut EP from Alex which certainly sits as his best ever work. Don’t miss it.