Andre Sobota follows up his Pulsatilla EP on microCastle two years ago, which remains one of the label’s best releases to date. This time around Robert Babicz, James Teej, and Microtrauma provide the remixes.
As on the earlier EP, Andre Sobota gives us three new tracks, and the remixers take on one a piece. First up we have the title track, which boasts galloping kicks, an anthemic main melody, and a pulsing bassline that parallels the melody nicely. It’s big, bold, and glossy, but I’d have liked a bit more progression throughout the track – the central ideas are very appealing, but it doesn’t really have any new tricks up its sleeves after those come together at the 1 minute 30 mark, and so it gets a touch repetitive.
Robert Babicz strips things back on his version, with a low, growling bassline carrying the chord sequence, and a spacey electric guitar sound picking up the main theme. He manages to keep the busy energy of Andre Sobota’s track intact though, with subtle but driving organ stabs and characteristically powerful percussion.
Andre Sobota’s second original here, ‘Solaris’, is enticing and warm from its opening seconds, warm bass tones and gentle pads rising up around a fluttering melody, with rippling synths and drifting vocal pads soon coming to the fore. Two minutes in the percussion is let off the chain, the bass and ripples intensify, and the track hits the first of two dreamy, trancey crescendos. This is my favourite of the three new originals on offer here, and it’s a real treat.
James Teej’s remix gets underway with heavy kicks, mechanical percussive loops, and gradually adding elements of the original while keeping things lovely and sparse. There’s some terrific constantly modulating bass work on display throughout, as well as some great guitar work, including a rhythm guitar line that really lifts the mid-section of the track. The remix clocks in at a hefty 11 minutes, and I have to say that the last three and a half minutes or so felt a bit wasted to me, with the track refusing to either come to any kind of climax or to a close. But overall, this is an excellent piece of work from James Teej, which offers some definite nods to Andre Sobota’s original while doing something quite unique with the track.
‘Morning Lust’ completes the trio of originals, and it sees Andre Sobota supply a bustling, light, melodic sound, held together by a strong chord progression.
Finally, Microtrauma serve up, for my money at least, the highlight of the whole package with their remix of ‘Morning Lust’. There are touches of Underworld’s classic ‘Rez’ throughout, as persistent acidic licks meet a bleepy, hypnotic, but groovy hook and bassline, and sweeping pads light things up on top, particularly during the breakdown. Microtrauma have been responsible for some total favourites of mine in the past, and this is another from them.
I don’t think that this is quite as strong a crop of tracks from Andre Sobota as we saw on the ‘Pulsatilla’ EP, but they’re all very worth keeping to know, with ‘Solaris’ being the pick of the bunch for me. And the A-team of remixers really don’t disappoint, with Microtrauma stealing the show despite the serious competition.