Tech House

Jori Hulkkonen – Calypso (De-Noize)

For their 11th release, New York-based imprint De-Noize offers up the debut of rising Finnish star Jori Hulkkonen on the label, while label-boss Audio KoDe turns up the heat on remix duties.

‘Calypso’ kicks off with an odd chiming motif (I couldn’t help but be reminded of the Phoenix Nights theme here, which isn’t usually a reference point for techno), which soon gives way to a chunky but retro sound, with a sparse, stabbing bassline and classic percussion. The melodies quickly emerge, with a simple but strong bleeping hook, airy pads, and gentle ripples gradually unfolding, leading us into the breakdown, where the chimes reemerge, making much more sense now that they’re surrounded by the other musical elements of the track. Warm and beautiful, this is a terrific slice of techno/progressive crossover.

Audio KoDe’s remix takes the track into the kind of percussive, propulsive tech-house arena that fans of his work will expect. However, he keeps just enough of the original’s fantastic melodies, including those blue-skies drifting pads, with the result that what we get is a more contemporary and floor-oriented, but still uplifting interpretation of Jori Hulkkonen’s track.

This is a very nice package from De-Noize, with both Jori Hulkkonen’s original and Audio KoDe’s remix bound to please fans of melodic but understated techno. My own tastes incline me slightly more towards the original, but it’s a close thing indeed. 8/10

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