Haroun Omar & Naz – Kabul Meets Beirut (System Recordings)

System Recordings returns this week following what was one of the labels most successful releases this year. Nissim Gavriel’s ‘Purple Sky’ released last week currently sits at #20 in the Beatport Progressive House chart and looks to move up even more over the coming weekend. Verche’s remix was the real standout for me on that one and I’m glad to see it doing so well. System’s newest offering finds the duo of Haroun Omar & Naz returning to the label for their second overall appearance. Haroun and Naz are not regular studio partners and seem to be saving their collaborative works especially for System as they’ve only appeared together on the US label. Their newest studio work is appropriately titled ‘Kabul Meets Beirut’ which includes remixes from: MNR and Erich Von Kollar.

Fans of Haroun & Naz’s first single ‘Carpe Diem’ should absolutely love ‘Kabul Meets Beirut’ as it comes with a similarly enchanting vibe. A bouncing framework with rolling bass stabs and shuffling drums delivers some nice energy as the track gets underway. A backdrop of atmospheric airiness slowly begins to build as additional stabs enhance the groove further. This takes the track to the main break where a set of deep, rhythmic tones gets introduced. As the modulation slowly gets turned up and the sequence brightens a classy melodic vibe soon comes over the piece and with it a drum roll begins to develop. It’s an intense build followed by a brief drop before the beats hit home for that much anticipated magic moment. It should be huge on the right dance floor and the smooth and mesmerizing second half keeps it on the right side of cool.

The first remix is provided by one of last year’s most talked about new production duos. MNR first came to my attention with their ‘Spectral Visions’ album on Verche’s Sangria imprint. At the end of 2013 Release Promo asked the question “Who were the best new comers of the year?’ on their Facebook page and the name MNR came up several times which was much deserved. Michael & Ryan aka MNR are a Toronto based duo and their unique blend of deep and atmospheric tech house has been winning more and more electronic music fans over with each successive release. It’s great to see them back on System Recordings as they had already appeared twice in the past. Their interpretation of ‘Kabul Meets Beirut’ is a smoother and more atmospheric take on the original which is absolutely spectacular. The simplistic groove carries a good energy and the surrounding electronics and soft rhythmic tones are damn cool. The huge atmospheric build which goes down around the 3 minute mark is somewhat unexpected, really unique and totally rocking. These dynamic builds continue a few times through the remainder of the record and the energy and atmosphere seems to get taken higher each time. On a contemporary or clued up dance floor I could see this being absolutely massive. MNR are doing incredible stuff right now, if you’re not following their work you definitely should be.

The final interpretation is provided by Erich Von Kollar who is making his first appearance on System Recordings. The Hungarian producer is not only one of the owners and founders of Stellar Fountain but he was also one of last year’s most pleasant surprises. As 2013 began he had a string of appearances on Balkan Connection and his own Stellar Fountain imprint but by year’s end his productions had been featured on: 3rd Avenue, Dopamine, Soundteller and Proton’s Compiled & Mixed series. Erich’s interpretation of ‘Kabul Meets Beirut’ marks his first new production of 2014 and it’s gotten the year off to a great start for him. The tough kick and unique claps are immediately engaging and once the shuffling rhythms drop in you’ve got a killer groove happening. The atmospheric energy that Erich’s created here is super smooth and seems to grow as the record progresses. Erich’s also added in these wickedly quirky hooks during the second half that are just the icing on the cake. Great remix from Erich and a very strong release from System Recordings.

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