Ilya Gerus – The Empyrean (Balkan Connection)

The 305th release on Balkan Connection finds Ilya Gerus making his debut on the label with his latest single ‘The Empyrean’.

Ilya Gerus - The Empyrean

The Russian producer changed his artist alias towards the end of 2013 and it’s been a great year for him thus far. His appearances on Asymmetric Recordings, BC2 Records and Clinique Recordings have all been exceptional. Ilya’s debut single for Balkan Connection is entitled ‘The Empyrean’ and it comes with remixes from Biologik, Shane Robinson and Kacper Kostecki.

Ilya’s original mix showcases what many electronic music fans have come to love about his productions. The Russian’s dreamy atmospheres, laid back grooves and trippy themes sound as good as ever here. The tracks unassuming beginnings grow into a delicate beauty which draws on both melodic techno and progressive influences. It’s a bit of new sound for Ilya and one of his most elaborate tracks to date.

The first interpretation of ‘The Empyrean’ is provided by Biologik who is making his debut appearance on Balkan Connection. The Canadian artist has been one of the progressive underground’s most loved producers this year. His diverse and highly emotional style is always welcome and he’s delivered my favourite remix on the release. The warmth and character of sound here is what’s really impressive. From the warm underbelly of bassy textures to the perfectly reinvented melodies it’s a production that just oozes class. It’s laid back enough for your living room but also has a contemporary dance floor appeal as well. Great remix from Biologik who can do no wrong at the moment.

The second interpretation is supplied by Shane Robinson who is also making his first appearance on Balkan Connection. The Irish producer has had a very strong year with productions on Sleepless Nights Recordings and PHW Elements really standing out. For his ‘The Empyrean’ interpretation Shane has stripped the groove right down and delivered a spacey rework that’s full of wonderful intricacies. The uniqueness of Shane’s beats and a myriad of subtle rhythms carries the mix with ease to the main break. The addition of a cool vocal element ups the trippy vibes and transitions the piece into an even spacier second half. It would have been easy to make this a bigger mix but Shane has showed some amazing restraint and it’s really a paid off. The result is a wonderful slice of electronica which is incredibly stimulating. Great stuff from Shane who continues to shine this year.

The third and final interpretation on the release is provided by Kacper Kostecki who is also making his Balkan Connection debut here. If you follow Kacper’s productions you know that he’s one of the most unique remixers around. His interpretations take on completely new life and also offer something completely different than the source material. His ‘The Empyrean’ interpretation is no different as it sonically reconstructs the track into a tightly wound ball of brooding tech house. It offers a wonderful tension filled tone which builds and carries the track to the main break; and the impact of the groove returning is absolutely immense. There’s a sense of exhilaration and relief there which should be quite dramatic on a dance floor. Another radically left of centre interpretation from Kacper and a real standout on the release as well. Superb package from Balkan Connection who continue on a great run since their 300th release.

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