For their latest release, Particles revisits Ukrainian producer Following Light’s ‘Calm’ EP from last year, repackaging the title track with new remixes from Masahiko Inui and Exoplanet.
Following Light’s original version of ‘Calm’ is floaty and melodic, driven by a great bass progression and cool percussion. The main hook is layered on with a extremely delicate touch, adding to the dream-like quality of the track. I could perhaps have done with a little bit more variety during the two-minute sequence following the main breakdown – it’s very pleasant indeed, but it gets just a tad repetitive after a minute or so. Still, this is gorgeous stuff.
Masahiko Inui’s previous outings on Axon have been impressive, and he doesn’t disappoint here on his debut on Particles. Kicking off with slightly wavering pads an skipping kickdrums, a brief breakdown introduces the main hook from the original, wrapped in a fog of soft melodies. The high point of the remix, though, is the long breakdown, which introduces beautiful metallic chimes over the other melodies. Given the length of the breakdown, there’s a slightly disappointing lack of power to the drop that follows, though I guess on a track called ‘Calm’ that shouldn’t come as a total surprise. That aside, this is a simple but really beautiful melodic techno moment that makes great use of the best ideas from Following Light’s original.
Exoplanet is responsible for many of Particles’s best moments over the past few years, without question. His version of ‘Calm’ transforms it into a slow-burning afterhours number, dropping the tempo down to 112bpm and adding a trip-hoppish beat, a groovy bassline, chanting vocal samples, and layers and layers of trippy melodies and driving 303-like sounds. Halfway through an abstract, glassy rendering of the original’s main hook appears – the only real nod to Following Light’s original track that I could detect – though it’s soon replaced with one of those deep-space melodies that Exoplanet has really made his own. It’s nice enough, but the remix didn’t really grab my attention at any point, and it felt a little shapeless at times. Not bad, but definitely not Exoplanet’s best work.
This is a lovely package from Particles, with Masahiko Inui’s version stealing the day for me. 7.5/10