The 150th release on Baroque Records finds the storied label closing the year out on a very strong note. The last two releases I’ve reviewed have been spectacular but this one is actually a notch or two better than those. It finds C-Jay returning to the label for his ninth overall appearance and a brand new single. The Dutch producer has been a fixture of the electronic music underground for well over ten years. Appearances on such legendary labels as Cyber records, Vapour and Flow solidified C-Jay‘s place amongst the progressive techno elite early on in his career and a recent resurgence largely due to releases on Baroque and Manual Music has shot C-Jay back in the spotlight. His newest offering for Baroque comes in conjunction with fellow Dutch producer Yoram. Together the pair have crafted ‘The Holstee Manifesto’ which includes a wicked remix from Beat Syndrome.
The original mix comes with a surprising amount of funk and a cool storytelling aspect. The round, well textured bass stabs make up a killer foundation while a wide array of clever rhythms provide more than enough hooks to make it dance floor worthy. The spoken word vocal sample which runs through the track is quite captivating and will certainly have the full attention of your audience. The second half goes a bit more sonic with some nice modulation on the lead themes while the vocal gets abandoned during the main drop. It goes down as one of the funkier progressive tunes I’ve heard in a while and it’s also performing quite well in our Hype Chart so don’t miss it.
The lone remix one the project comes from Beat Syndrome who is returning to Baroque for his fourth appearance. Toronto based producer Hamed Safi aka Beat Syndrome has gone through a lot of production changes. After separating from long time studio partner and Beat Syndrome member Navid Mehr Hamed has reinvented the alias’ sound to a certain extent. He’s finished 2013 off with a string of strong remixes for Movement Recordings, Balkan Connection and Stripped Records which have showcased a deeper, more organic and more contemporary sound. The ultimate finish to the year though appears to be his interpretation of ‘The Holstee Manifesto’ which is currently sitting at the #1 position in our overall Hype Chart. This is a place reserved for only about 25-30 records a year so it’s no easy feat. Without a doubt it is one of Beat Syndrome‘s best productions this year. It’s a deeply hypnotic record but with a uniquely funky twist. The hazy atmosphere, wonderfully reworked vocals and building rhythms are quite mesmerizing but the addition of some well sequenced bass tones add that cool funkiness that most overly hypnotic records are usually missing. Brilliant stuff from Beat Syndrome and a great release from Baroque to close out 2013.