Progressive House Reviews

Jelly For The Babies – Afterhours (Agara Music)

Travis MacDonald’s Agara Music returns this week and with that we see Jelly For The Babies making his debut on the label. The Serbian producer has been in fine form of late with his releases on Clinique Recordings and Balkan Connection really standing out. Travis has once again surprised me with his A&R choice here; you really never know quite what to expect from this fine Canadian imprint. Agara’s last 2 releases have seen the label moving away from its melodic techno / electronica leanings and it’s certainly paid off as support from Armin Van Buuren and Paul Oakenfold has rolled in. Jelly For The Babies debut single on Agara is entitled ‘Afterhours’ and it comes with remixes from: Nikolay Mikryukov and Vanyano.

‘Afterhours’ is a perfect example of why Jelly For The Babies is such a great talent. The Serbian producers smooth hypnotic lines and serene atmospheres have never sounded better. Like most Jelly For The Babies productions there’s just an air of coolness about this one. Those soft vocal stabs, clattering percs and delicately drifting atmospheres deliver some serious aural magic. The great thing too is how the production resists going to big or overblown in favour of an understated glide which is quite refreshing. Brilliant work from Jelly once again!

The first remix on the release is provided by Nikolay Mikryukov who is making his debut on Agara Music. I first discovered the Russian producer with his many releases on Spring Tube which is one of the finest labels from Nikolay’s home country. The deep, enchanting sound which he presented on his many releases for Spring Tube is in full force here as he’s really transformed ‘Afterhours’ into a celestial sounding beauty. The playful melodic accents prove to be lovely emotional hooks and the breakdown is just sensational. Filled with an array of cascading keys and gorgeous piano sequences the records centerpiece is destined for many goosebump moments and the strong second half just furthers the productions emotional brilliance. Outstanding remix from Nikolay and a pleasant surprise to see him on Agara.

The final remix is provided by Vanyano who is also making his debut on Agara Music. The Bosnian producer has compiled a pretty tidy discography over the last few years with key appearances on Baires, Baroque, Balkan Connection and Whose Haus. For his ‘Afterhours’ interpretation Vanyano has provided a much more techno inspired take on the track which adds mightily to the overall release. The relatively stripped groove comes with a deep underbelly of rolling bass tones and a nice complement of eerie sound design. The unassuming nature of the track is offset with moments of exhilarating, tension filled builds. I could see a clever DJ using this masterfully in programming some waves of anticipation early in a set. It’s definitely something different from Vanyano and shows he’s much more than a progressive house producer. It rounds out another very strong and well constructed release from Agara Music. Highly Recommended.

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