Staying relevant and at the top of your production game for an extended period of time is a rare thing in electronic dance music. Most producers go through stretches where the sound of the times somehow eludes them. Dousk however has somehow managed to stay relevant and more importantly cool for the last ten years. The Greek producer shot into the electronic music spotlight in 2004 with releases on John Digweed’s Bedrock imprint; subsequent releases on Vapour, Lost Language and Global Underground soon followed and with that Dousk became one of the most in demand producers from the talent rich country of Greece. Oddly enough Proton Music has managed to do the same over the course of their nine year run. Dousk has found a nice home there as he appeared on the label five times over the course of 2013. His debut EP for Proton was entitled ‘Bisocial’ and saw its release in July of last year. The second cut ‘Jit Jit’ showcased exactly why Dousk has remained such a contemporary figure in electronic music. The chugging grooves, fresh vocal hooks and hypnotic rhythms sounded great then and they’ll sound great 10 years from now as well. For Proton’s 241st release and fifth of 2014 we find the label presenting two brand new interpretations from: Rich Curtis and Tim Penner who I would say are two of the most unique and to a degree under appreciated producers in the electronic music underground.
Rich Curtis has been amazing me for years now; ever since his initial productions on Cid Inc’s Replug imprint back in 2010. He’s one of those producers that just has a cool vibe about his stuff. There is an air of unpredictability that comes with his productions and they always seem to surprise me. His interpretation of ‘Jit Jit’ goes down as one of his smoothest studio creations to date. Rich’s cool beat patterns have an effortless bounce to them here and once the full complement of drums comes to fruition there is a sizable amount of swing happening. Rich’s productions are at times a bit too clever for your average dance floor out there but this one somehow manages to still be incredibly cool and ultra accessible. The escalating harmonics which push forward out of the main breakdown are a perfect example of that. To the more clued up electronic music fan the building melodic energy there is no doubt regarded as quite unique and exhilarating but it’s also got enough of an alluring, club friendly vibe that even the average dance floor patron can get a great rush from it. Just excellent work from Rich here.
The second and final remix comes from Tim Penner who is making his fifth appearance on Proton Music. The Canadian producer has also remained a favourite of mine since I heard some of his earlier work on Stripped Digital which dates back to 2011. Much like Rich Curtis Tim too is a producer that really has his own unique thing going on. He’s not only incredibly creative but really seems to enjoy taking risks in the studio which is a very refreshing thing in this day and age of volume over innovation. Tim has really nailed down a wicked interpretation of ‘Jit Jit’ here. Opting for a more stripped down, techno inspired framework Tim has reinvented the vocal elements into a fluid wall of hypnotic gates that is both ever evolving and downright intoxicating. Tim’s punchy kicks and machine gun drums build with a dynamic frenzy throughout the various tension filled segments over the course of the tracks seven and a half minute duration. I could easily see this being one of the biggest records of the night on a very wide range of dance floors. Excellent stuff from Tim and one of my favourites from him to date. Superb release as we’ve come to expect from Proton Music.