Opendecks Records makes a welcome return this week and presents a brand new single from Dartek.
The Argentinean imprint had their first release back in 2008 which was an EP from the label owner and founder Julio Largente. Over the next 6 years Opendecks had several key releases with singles from Dartek, Manual Sofia and Sound Process being the most notable. The labels latest and presumably last of 2014 sees Dartek returning for a brand new single entitled ‘Offshore’ which includes remixes from Andy Arias, Fractal Architect and Manual Sofia.
Dartek would have to be considering one of the veterans of the incredibly deep Argentinean electronic music scene. Although there are under 20 credits on his discography over the last seven years his work has been featured on Natura Sonoris, Noizen and Baires Records. A unique production sound which blurs the boundaries of several genres has always made Dartek stand out from the pack and his latest single ‘Offshore’ does so again. Backed by a foundation of broken beats and warm acidic rhythms ‘Offshore’ is an immediately alluring production. A marvellous collage of melody has brought together the old school breakbeat sound along with a timeless take on electronica. There are a multitude of magic moments throughout this piece and if you’re a fan of emotional electronic music then there is no reason not to have this track in your collection.
The first interpretation of ‘Offshore’ is provided by Andy Arias who is making his first appearance on Opendecks. Another veteran of the Argentinean scene Andy has had the best year of his career thus far. A recent EP for Tim Penner’s newly formed Slideways Music along with releases on Nikko.Z’s Dopamine Music and an appearance on Hernan Cattaneo’s Balance 026 compilation have all been highlights. For his ‘Offshore’ interpretation Andy has put his own funky, progressive twist on the track which complements the original very well. It’s well shaped bassline is full of bubbly, round textures and the ever modulating waves of elastic-like synths dazzle your senses throughout. The slow burning melodic build is what’s so captivating though. With all those great parts from the original is would be very easy to get carried away and make something overly big but Andy has showed some remarkable restraint and the result is a tastefully produced beauty. In many ways it sounds a bit like that old Paul Van Dyk sound from the late nineties but in the best way imaginable. About 10 notches lower on the intensity scale but with the same emotion. Brilliant work from Andy.
The second interpretation of ‘Offshore’ is provided by Dan Watts aka Fractal Architect who is also making his debut on Opendecks. The UK producer came out of nowhere this year with his Crystalline EP on Paul Hazendonk’s Manual Music. The release’s luminous harmonies and unique design caught the attention of the entire electronic music community and soon Fractal Architect became a sought after remixer and has since appeared on Clinique Recordings, Mirabilis Records and MNL. For his ‘Offshore’ interpretation Fractal Architect has put a wonderful techno twist on the piece. Backed by a warm, playful groove Fractal Architect has elegantly reinvented the great themes from the original throughout the reconstruction. The tracks buoyant foundation and overall design is airy and undeniably energetic; and the components from the original just work perfectly in conjunction with the groove. Outstanding stuff from Fractal Architect.
The third and final interpretation of ‘Offshore’ is provided by Manual Sofia who is making his second appearance on Opendecks. There have only been a few memorable or important tracks in progressive music over the last five years and Manuel’s ‘An Endless Forest (released in 2010 on Sudbeat Music) was certainly one of those. Easily the best melodic record of that year it encompassed everything that lovers of progressive house (in the traditional and correct sense) look for. A unique, timeless and deeply emotional theme over a stylized groove that was great for the dance floor. Manual’s Italo-Epica interpretation of ‘Offshore’ carries many of those same traits. It’s the most radical reinvention on the release and complements the other versions quite well. The main themes from the original are teased over a wide, warm and well textured techno foundation. The spacious inner workings of the framework allow all of Manual’s intricate and decidedly funky electronics to shine which adds some nice swing to the groove. The emotional moments are downplayed throughout but the beautiful message from the original is strong nonetheless. A very classy production from Manuel and an excellent release from Opendecks, let’s hope we see another one very soon. Highly recommended.