Outing number 2 for young label Tarnished Tracks, and it’s another sublime piece of futuristic melodica from Jamie Stevens, backed by a tougher remix from label-boss Dale Middleton.
‘Solemn Pride’ sees Jamie Stevens back in vaguely the musical territory we found him exploring in his outstanding ‘My Tears Don’t Help Me’ last year on microCastle, with taut, menacing bass work and layered tuned percussion hooks, which take on a shimmering quality as the track progresses. The breakdown centres on Jamie Stevens’s beautiful, bubbly central hook and lovely chimes, as well as an evocative vocal sample and – of course – those omnipresent basslines. This is another work of art from Jamie Stevens – subtle, powerful, and beautiful all at the same time.
Dale Middleton gives the track a very different feel, quickly building a rolling techno groove and weaving in the tuned percussion, before urgent stabs, looping vocals, and thundering percussion take things up a notch. Mind-bending and ass-kicking in equal measures, this is a perfect compliment to Jamie Steven’s original.
This is a fantastic, forward-thinking release, with both versions of ‘Solemn Pride’ pushing the right buttons, though Jamie Stevens’s original is my personal favourite.