Spain’s Univack records return for their 29th release, with melodic techno and ambience from French producer Georges Guelters. Remixes come from Erdi Irmak, LoQuai, and Erich Lesovsky.
The EP’s title track gets the EP off to a gentle start, with a long ambient intro which floats the really wonderful main melody lines over fluttering, gentle breakbeats. The track’s melodic core is kept intact as the kick drum picks up, supported by a slick off-beat bass part that injects energy while complimenting the melodic themes very well. Zippy percussion and hazy electric guitar effects add further excitement as the track builds, but it’s the reemergence of the melody in the final third of the track that really makes it – it’s really catchy and moving at the same time.
I’m an Erdi Irmak fan, and his incredible take on Peter van Der’s ‘Circles’ from late last year is still a favourite. His take on ‘Oreol’ is nice and solid, with a more DJ-friendly arrangement than the original and a wicked bassline that asserts itself a minute in playing off a chunky off-beat bassline. I did find myself wishing that more of Georges Guelters’s melodies had been deployed here – they’re used as teasers during a couple of the breakdowns, and I found myself wanting more. Still, Irmak has managed to retool Georges Guelters’s composition for the dancefloor very effectively indeed.
Georges Guelters’s second original, ‘Clementine’, is an ambient track, with beautiful plucked harp melodies wrapped up in equally gorgeous strings, while raw bass tones and gentle percussion keep things moving forward. It’s a the right tempo to be used as an intro or outro to a set, but it’s a gem in its own right too.
LoQuai keeps the feel of the original for the intro to his version of ‘Clementine’, but takes the track into low-key melodic techno waters after the first minute and a half. I wasn’t really that taken with this version though – despite some cool bass work, it never really catches alight, due in part to some rather uninspiring percussion, and the melodic ideas on show struck me as a bit weaker than the original’s.
Erich Lesovksy has been responsible for some very fine house and techno, including last year’s anthemic ‘Somber’, but I felt like his remix of ‘Clementine’ also failed to do the original justice. It’s chunky enough, but the original’s harp motif is rather tinny sounding and it becomes somewhat cloying when looped the way it is here, while the main themes of the remix didn’t really capture my interest.
The originals here from Georges Guelters are really lovely, each boasting some strong and well-realised melodic ideas. Of the remixes, Erdi Irmak does the best job by far of taking those ideas and lending them some floor-direct power. 8/10