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Hernan Serrao – To The Finals (System Recordings)

The latest release on System Recordings finds Hernan Serrao returning to the label for his latest single entitled ‘To The Finals’.

Hernan Serrao - To The Finals

The Argentinean producer first appeared on the long standing US imprint with a remix of Dirty Rhythm Syndicate ‘Sonic’ in January of 2013. 2014 saw a string of appearances on the Groovenight label while 2015 began with his debut single for System entitled ‘Wherever You Go’. Hernan’s follow up ‘To The Finals’ looks to be his best yet and includes remixes from Dale Middleton, Li-Polymer and One Opinion.

For all those that loved Hernan’s previous work, ‘To The Finals’ is warmer, deeper and even more enchanting. There’s a lovely summer vibe emanating from this one straight away. Funky beat patterns along with skippy percussive designs and a floaty atmospheric haze make for a lovely canvas. It’s 11 minute running time may seem long but it doesn’t play that way. The anticipatory break is filled with soothing soundscapes, it’s a gorgeous interlude which casts you further into dreamland. It’s a long stretch but there’s an intriguing story there and it preludes a third act of delicate rhythms and wispy motifs perfectly. Lovely stuff from Hernan.

The first interpretation of ‘To The Finals’ is provided by Dale Middleton who is making his third appearance on System Recordings. It’s been an incredible year for the UK producer. In February, industry tastemaker Pete Tong dropped Dale’s ‘Engage’ on BBC Radio 1. The track has enjoyed immense success ever since, getting all the way up to #3 in the Beatport Chillout chart, and it is sitting in the top 10 well over a month later. A recent gig with Dousk and Pole Folder at Soul Progressive III in Buenos Aires has been another highlight for Dale who has been traveling more frequently of late. His interpretation of ‘To The Finals’ is on the money as well and keeps that great momentum flowing. Dale has managed to take some of the cool rhythmic elements from the original and reinvent them in a dark, brooding, techno inspired sensibility which absolutely rocks. There’s a slow burning intensity here which not only draws you in but is going to sound absolutely electric in a club, and it’s growling foundation only adds to the ferocity. Definitely one to lift the mood of a room up. Excellent stuff from Dale.

The second interpretation of ‘To The Finals’ is provided by Fábio Pereira aka Li-Polymer who is making his 11th appearance on System Recordings. The Portuguese producer has also gotten the year off to a great start. Fabio’s funky atmospheric style always sounds fresh and remixes for Soundteller Records and Stellar Fountain have been some of his most interesting work yet. You can always count on Li-Polymer to bring something unique to each of his productions and he’s done that again on his ‘To The Finals’ interpretation. With a much more emotional take on the track Fabio has provided a great complement to the previous two versions. Subtle chord changes, angelic vocal pads and an air of melancholia lead the piece into the break where the main theme further develops. Cascades of keys and an ethereal synth motif make for a gorgeous interlude that you can get completely lost in. It’s understated re-entry and smooth third act is perfect as well, when you’ve got a great emotional vibe like this you don’t need to overdo it. Excellent remix from Li-Polymer.

The third and final interpretation on the release is provided by One Opinion who are making their first appearance on System Recordings. I first discovered the Hungarian duo when they appeared on Eelke Kleijn’s Outside The Box Music in 2013. Their interpretation of Louis Kolben’s ‘Don’t Lose Your Way’ was excellent and they’ve since added releases on Crossfade Sounds, MNL and Truesounds Music. They got 2015 off to a great start with a funky rework of Claus Willhelm’s classic ‘Ping Me’ and they’ve continued that strong momentum here with a great interpretation of ‘To The Finals’. The smoothness of the original has been well conveyed with a wealth of hypnotic motifs. That One Opinion funk comes to life following the main break though with more of the rhythmic elements getting dropped in along with an undulating foundation. It all makes for another killer late night jam. Top stuff from One Opinion and a great release from System Recordings who may have just had their best month on record.

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Luke Porter

What’s In Your Box: Luke Porter