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John Johnson & Greyloop – The Empire (Hydrogen Inc.)

The latest release on Hydrogen Inc. finds label boss John Johnson teaming up with Greyloop for a fresh collaboration.

John Johnson & Greyloop - The Empire

Hailing from the USA and Hungary respectively, this is not John and Grey’s first time working together. The duo delivered the excellent ‘Space Love’ on the label back in October and now look to top that with ‘The Empire’ alongside remixes from Yuriy From Russia & Mr. Panda and Edmond Binoge. 

When John and Grey got together for ‘Space Love’ the result was a funky, hypnotic tech house jam. Ideally dialed for the dancefloor, complete with a gorgeous vocal break, which produced more than its fair share of great club moments. On ‘The Empire’ we get something a little deeper and groovier but with the same great vocal complement. The records foundation is immediately striking with well contoured bass stabs, full of character and great space. Soulful vocal hooks and dubby rhythms get teased in over the first act, ultimately leading the track to the main break. Here the full vocal is unleashed amidst a bed of luminous electronics and warm atmospherics. It’s a wonderful moment and one which goes just as far as it needs to before reigniting the groove and catchy hooks which made the first act so pleasing. For the less vocally inclined John and Grey have also provided a ‘The Emperor Has Lost His Voice Dub’ which omits pretty much all the vocals, even the hooks in the first and third acts so it’s a true instrumental. The break is dead gorgeous with those delicate keys really getting a chance to breathe and sounding near perfect for a beachside set. Two great versions for a variety of occasions and the production is nothing short of impeccable. Wonderful stuff from John and Grey. 

The first interpretation of ‘The Empire’ is provided by Yuriy From Russia & Mr. Panda who is making his first appearance on Hydrogen. Yuriy and Mr. Panda are one in the same as far as I know with the latter begin a moniker the Russian artist used for his deeper productions. Here we get a meld of the both styles together with a reworked groove adding a touch more drive and lots of great textures which Yuriy is loved for. The full vocal has not been used but the one great hook which was so prominent in the original has. It sounds marvellous set against Yuriy’s swirling backdrop of kaleidoscopic colours, which all build to a classy apex around the 5 minute mark. Lovely remix from Yuriy. 

The second and final interpretation of ‘The Empire’ is provided by Edmond Binoge who is also making his first appearance on Hydrogen. The Berlin based producer has been on both 238W and Media Blackout which, as diehard fans know are label companions to Hydrogen all run by John Johnson. Additionally Edmond has also found a home on King Street Sounds, Love Not Money Records, Deep Edition Recordings and Deep Site Recordings. For his ‘The Empire’ interpretation Edmond has stripped the groove down a touch and toughened the production up overall. Being a dub the mix relies on some really fresh design and a killer breakdown, complete with a quick, impactful build, which delivers a great payoff. Should be ideal for the dance floor and a great complement to the previous versions here. A top notch release on Hydrogen full of variety and talent. Don’t miss it. 

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