Change-Underground and Aidan McGlynn present a brand new podcast series, which showcases some of the shining lights from today’s scene. Here he takes you through the tracks on the mix.
1. Kastis Torrau featuring Amber Long – ‘Menace (Several Definitions Vocal Remix)’ – Stripped Recordings
‘Menace’ was one of my favourite tracks of last year, with Amber Long’s uncharacteristically pushy vocals working really well with the track’s huge twin basslines. The track also came with a very strong remix from King Unique, which is a pretty tough act to follow. But I like the direction Several Definitions has taken the track in, with enough of the vocal and the bassline to give a clear nod to the original, while keeping the mood airy but melancholic. The cover is absolutely terrifying though – you have been warned!
Release date: 31/8/2015
2. Jamie Stevens – ‘My Tears Don’t Help Me’ – microCastle
This is a really weird but beautiful track, with some really techy elements spliced with lovely xylophone-like hooks and strings, and a vocal that really sticks in your head. Only Jamie Stevens could make something like this work – this is a complete one-off, and it’s superb.
3. Noraj Cue – ‘Earth in Decay’ – Manual
Noraj Cue has been one of my absolutely favourite producers for the past couple of years, and so I was really excited when I heard he had a solo album coming out. It’s been worth the wait, and from my first listen, two tracks jumped out: ‘Universal Love’, which we’ll get to soon, and ‘Earth in Decay’. This is just so rich, from the intricate little hooks and bass blasts, to the vocal chants, cinematic strings, and touches of piano – it’s a stunningly imaginative piece of music.
4. Robert Babicz – ‘Centurion (Jody Wisternoff Vocal Remix)’ – Babiczstyle
Babiczstyle is one of the best labels around, mostly because so far it’s really only released Robert Babicz’s music, and he always delivers. That said, the label always has really good remixers too, and this garagey version of ‘Centurion’ from WOW legend Jody Wisternoff is just sublime, with the strings and vocals working particularly well together.
Release date: TBA
5. Dustin Naintais feat. Amber Long – ‘A Long Road (Kobana Remix)’ – MNL
Kobana’s ‘Barsoom’ was one of the highlights of 2014 for me, and he quickly followed it up with a really creative album on Proton. If anything, he’s been pushing things in an even more experimental direction this year, and this remix of Dustin Naintais and Amber Long could hardly be much more different from the original, with its heavy bassline, twisted melodies, and warped timings.
6. Quivver – ‘Wait For You’ – Selador
I recently flagged this EP as Selador’s best release of the year, and this rich, melodic, forward-thinking slice of house was one of the main reasons why. Whatever ‘it’ is, Quivver’s still got it.
7. Guy Mantzur & Sahar Z – ‘Survivors Guilt (Ramon Tapia Remix)’ – Lost & Found
‘Time’ remains one of the best albums I’ve heard in a while, and it’s great to see Guy J’s Lost & Found revisit it with a really stunning package of remixes. Ramon Tapia keeps some of the melodic touches from ‘Survivors Guilt’, but he reworks the track into a churning tech house monster.
8. Namatjira – ‘Friends Without Benefits’ – 3rd Avenue
As I mentioned in my review of Namatjira’s album, he’s a producer that I really only learned about writing a review for this site – his remix of Andrew Benson’s ‘Dope’ totally hooked me the first time I heard it, and I’ve been a big fan ever since. This is the title track from the album, and it’s all about the strings on this one – it’s a really lovely track, which starts to draw the mix to a close.
9. Noraj Cue – ‘Universal Love’ – Manual
I just had to end with this one! This is another cut from Noraj Cue’s forthcoming album, though this particular track already featured on the first single from the album, released last month. This has been my favourite track of the year since I first heard it – the piano riffs, acidic bassline, off-kilter rhythms, and sweeping melodies all combine beautifully to create something unique and timeless.