The 49th release on Nikko.Z’s Dopamine Music welcomes Juan Deminicis to the label for his debut EP.
As one of Argentina’s foremost electronic music talents Juan’s productions have been featured on both Sudbeat Music and Lost & Found Records. His deep and distinctive sound continues to be a favourite amongst the top DJs with Hernan Cattaneo and Guy J being two of his biggest supporters. It’s been a relatively quiet production year for Juan so his debut EP for Dopamine Music comes with great anticipation. Entitled ‘Ritual’, the release features two originals alongside remixes from Jamie Stevens, Kosmas and Navar.
The release begins with the title track ‘Ritual’ and finds Juan crafting a deep and groovy number in his own inimitable style. Anchored by a wave of billowing bass stabs it’s foundation is well carved and carries a large presence. Angelic pads quickly offset the growling underbelly before Juan begins to work some melodic magic with indistinct motifs and tasteful chord changes leading the way. Following a short and timely break the second act strips the framework down a touch, where the wobbly groove takes over, ultimately setting up a gorgeous finale.
The first interpretation of ‘Ritual’ is provided by Jamie Stevens who is making his first appearance on Dopamine Music. The Australian producer is coming off an incredible summer season, Jamie’s long awaited ‘The Healing’ EP (microCastle), along with a remix for Khen’s ‘Secret Shining’ (Lost & Found), dominated the Beatport charts for many months. Now with the year winding to a close Jamie delivers another on the money interpretation for Juan’s ‘Ritual’. Beginning with a DJ friendly intro, a wall of granular bass swells quickly drops in, before an elegant take on the lead motif lifts the production from its sinister inception. The poignant lead methodically develops over the records first act, as shimmering overlays and luminous tones elevate the mood higher. An expertly executed break highlighted by monstrous bass swells and perverse sonic decay precedes a powerful third act, where Jamie reconvenes the exquisite themes and powerful rhythms for a heavenly finale.
The second interpretation of ‘Ritual’ is provided by Kosmas who is making his second appearance on Dopamine Music. The Greek born, now Mexico based producer just appeared on Hernan Cattaneo’s critically acclaimed Sudbeats Vol. 3 collection and also has 2015 outings on Motek Music, The Last Of Us and Clouds Above. The Kosmas sound has gotten more diverse in recent years as he explores more eclectic styles of house and techno. For his ‘Ritual’ interpretation we see him taking the track via the techno inspired route, all while retaining the big presence which made the original so commanding. Driven by gargantuan beats, bright tonal themes and bands of tripped out effects, Kosmas has aimed this production squarely at a peak time dance floor. As the track progresses the vocal storyboard continues to deliver new twists, with gates and granular effects tantalizing the senses, all while the punishing beats continue to push momentum forward to a massive conclusion.
The second original on the release ‘At Dawn’ is next and finds Juan exploring a deeper, housier part of his studio repertoire. Led by a funky groove and playful melodies it sets a wonderful mood early on. Acidic designs lock the groove down a notch further while a vocal storyboard begins. Intriguing, the spoken word narrative makes for a whimsical break, lifting the mood higher and setting up a laid back and lovely conclusion.
The lone interpretation of ‘At Dawn’ is provided by Navar who is making his first appearance on Dopamine Music. The Dutch producer of Lost & Found and microCastle fame has been quiet this year with just one new remix so his appearance here is certainly a welcome and much anticipated one for his fans. With a distinctive sound all his own Navar brings soul and inimitable style to every project he takes on. His ‘At Dawn’ interpretation is no different, as he’s remodelled Juan’s playful original into a timeless creation, one that would sound perfect on a beach side terrace as well as a clued up back room. The main motifs, while well conveyed come with a minimalistic yet dreamy flair and Navar’s distinct percussive designs never cease to amaze. An incredible remix and one which closes out what is likely Dopamine Music’s finest release to date, on a high note.