Mariano Favre – Semper Fidelis (Classound Recordings)

Luis Bondio launched his Classound imprint on the final day of 2012 and the year that followed saw the label grow immensely. Now nine releases in Classound is one of the more cutting edge imprints in the progressive house underground. Luis avoided putting out too many releases and focused on a spacious project schedule that really delivered. Classound’s first release of 2014 is out this week and it features the debut of Mariano Favre to the label. The Argentinean’s debut single for Classound is entitled ‘Semper Fidelis’ and it comes with remixes from Nikko.Z and Sonic Union.

Mariano is a producer that only seems to pop up occasionally. His 2013 discography has appearances on Traum, Movement Recordings, Mistique, Moonchild and Stripped Digital. It certainly makes his studio creations seem that much more meaningful and always leaves his fans hoping for another new release. ‘Semper Fidelis’ is Mariano’s first release of 2014 and it looks to be one of his coolest yet. For all those loved Mariano’s contribution (Circular Speeding) to ‘Tour De Traum VII’ you’re sure to love ‘Semper Fidelis’ as well. It carries the same laid back techno vibe and haunting musicality which made ‘Circular Speeding’ so great. The long drawn out key sequences evolve beautifully and the haunting atmospheric backdrop sets the perfect canvas for the rolling hypnotics which carry the piece so perfectly from start to finish. Exceptional stuff from Mariano.

The first remix is provided by Nikko.Z who is making his first appearance on Classound Recordings. The Dopamine Music headman got 2014 off to a great start with what was one of his most unique sounding productions to date. ‘Insane’ was released just two weeks ago has been one of the most elaborate progressive house productions of 2014 thus far. Nikko’s interpretation of ‘Semper Fidelis’ puts a decidedly funkier and more groove oriented twist on Mariano’s streamlined original. The poignant bass stabs and ethereal sounding accents carve out an amazing groove that’s got so much bounce. The shuffling drums seem to add just that much more pop to the groove as well; it’s one of those tracks where everything just clicks and the results are really spectacular. The phasing electronics hint at a more techno inspired sound which seems to be creeping into some of Nikko’s most recent productions like his James Holden bootleg for example. It’s my favourite version on the release and also one of Nikko’s best ever I think.

The final remix on the release is supplied by Sonic Union who is making his first appearance on Classound here. Erik Pettersson aka Sonic Union also got the year off to a great start with a remix ( in conjunction with sometime studio partner Bastards of Funk) for his own Lowbit Records imprint which had a very solid run in the Beatport Progressive House chart. Erik’s ‘Semper Fidelis’ interpretation is his first solo production of 2014 and it offers an ideal complement to the previous two mixes. In going with a much deeper more introspective sounding vibe Erik has laid down one of his grooviest works to date. The development of the meaty foundation is really special and a joy to listen to as it slowly evolves. As the well sequenced bass tones get added in they roll off each other perfectly and the resulting groove is full of great character and undulation. The meandering atmospheres which surround the sizable groove do a great job at delivering a smooth and serene vibe without washing out the groove too much. Great stuff from Sonic Union and one of Classound’s best releases to date. Highly recommended.

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