Greece-based producer Blusoul has been making music since 2005, refining his progressive house and breaks sound, and 2013 is already looking set to be the year in which he really proves what he’s capable of. His collaboration with Amber Long was not only selected for 99percent’s ‘Ten’ album, but was picked by Cid Inc. to be his mix’s emotional closer. ‘Voyager’ sees him make his first appearance on Bastards of Funk and Sonic Union’s hugely respected Lowbit imprint, while Colorblock, Monster of Density, and Li-Polymer supply the remixes.
Blusoul’s original is moody, spacey, slow-burning progressive house – proper Bladerunner gear. Persistent bleeps, metallic melodies, and distorted, distant fragments of speech keep the sci-fi feel strong, before the track gently winds down and fades out. It feels a bit more like a journey for the headphones than a club track, though that’s certainly no bad thing.
Colorblock (Lank’s new collaboration with Forteba and DJ Stone) offer something much more squarely aimed at the dancefloor, utilizing the central themes of the original well, while building it into a storming progressive workout. As you’d expect from anything Lank has a hand in, the end result manages to be chunky and driving without compromising too much on atmosphere.
Argentinian trio Monster of Density here follow up a run of great remixes in 2012 for the likes of Crossfrontier Audio and 99percent with their first release of 2013. They initially stick pretty closely to the original, but as the track progresses they introduce drifting pads, rippling melodies, and a simple but effective offbeat bassline to offer their own dreamier take on ‘Voyager’.
Finally, Li-Polymer offers a characteristically subtle yet powerful version. Li-Polymer is one of those remixers that can simultaneously strip a track down to its essential elements while increasing its emotional punch, as he proved time and time again last year with a string of remixes on Balkan Connection, Stellar Fountain, Stigma, to name just a few. His remix here gradually builds a deep progressive groove, before Blusoul’s distinctive melodies are allowed to take centre stage to brilliant effect.
If there’s a criticism to be made here, it’s that all four versions of ‘Voyager’ explore much the same musical space. As this review should suggest, that’s not at all to say that they don’t each have their own individual strengths. It’s just that it would have been nice to hear a version that took the track in a really different direction. As it stands, Colorblock’s remix is likely to make the biggest waves when played out, while Li-Polymer’s is my pick for more introspective moments. But it’s hard to go wrong here – great stuff once again from both Lowbit and Blusoul. 8/10