Khen – Sense of Time (Sudbeat)

Khen has had a terrific year so far in 2013, delivering some of the standout moments on labels such as Replug, 99percent, Lowbit, Proton and Hope. ‘Sense of Time’ sees Khen make a welcome return to Sudbeat, following on from his excellent contribution to their recent ‘Sudbeats’ compilation, ‘Haziness’. Also making a reappearance on the label is remixer Luis Junior, who turned in a great, dreamy reworking of Guy J last year.

Khen’s original features a spooky, shuddering intro which gently hints at the melody to come, before it drops into some deep proggy action. After building nicely for a few minutes, we get our first real taste of what ‘Sense of Time’ is about when some wobbly noises rise up over some lovely little chord changes. The track then drops into a  breakdown, but it soon climbs back out with the help of a surprisingly anthemic synth part, before getting back to business. That haunting melody hinted at in the intro drifts over the track, giving it a real finale. It’s hard not to feel like the best ideas here are perhaps slightly under-utilized, but it’s still a really excellent, understated piece of work from Khen.

From the off, Luis Junior’s interpretation is a heavier affair, building with punchier percussion, a huge jabbing bass, and biting hi-hats that really give the track an edge. After a teasing breakdown, Luis Junior drops the melody from the original over his bassline. It’s a fantastic moment, but sadly the remix just gets caught in a bit of a loop for the next minute and a half, before a glorious ripple of melody bubbles up, giving the track one final highlight before it slowly winds down. It does feel a bit like this remix could have been edited down into something a bit leaner and more effective – there are certainly some great moments in here, but they’re just a bit too sparsely distributed. Still, overall the remix  definitely has more dance-floor power than Khen’s original, and it does make good use of Khen’s melodies – whatever reservations I’ve expressed, it’s undoubtably highly-playable, high-impact stuff from Luis Junior.

This is another fine package from Sudbeat, with Khen’s original capturing my imagination a bit more than Luis Junior’s remix, but both looking set to do some serious damage over the coming months. 8/10


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