Travis MacDonald’s Agara Music returns this week after their fourth release which many feel was Beat Syndrome’s best work to date in the form of ‘Fallen’. Agara has been one of the most consistently brilliant new labels to start up in the last year and they continue to build positive momentum with each successive release. The labels fifth release is out this week and it sees one of Turkey’s finest Mehmet Akar making his debut on the imprint. Mehmet really rose in the electronic music underground when he was announced as one of the finalists in Sasha’s Burn Studios remix competition last year and recent productions for Manual and Outside The Box have only furthered that. Mehmet’s debut single for Agara is entitled ‘Roll The Dice’ and it comes with remixes from Matias Chilano and Sharkstar.
Mehmet’s ‘Roll The Dice’ original begins with an intricate sounding groove that’s accented with some spooky sounding electronics and a poignant stab. The electronic subtleties of the mix really shine through the first half of the production and lead to a short transition with some subtle modulation on the groove. The second half presents some beautifully processed vocal elements which just add to the spooky sounding nature of the piece. It’s about as stripped and minimal as you can get but the waning atmospheric backdrop provides some subtle tension which should serve as anticipation for what’s to come next. A definite winner for setting the mood of any room.
The first remix of ‘Roll The Dice’ comes from Matias Chilano who has been one of the hottest producers in progressive house of late. Releases on Sound Avenue, Crossfade Sounds, Mistique, LuPS and Soundteller have established Matias as one of Argentina’s top electronic music talents. This is Matias’ first appearance on Agara and he’s delivered a great remix of ‘Roll The Dice’. A deep and brooding beginning sets some nice anticipation at the outset. The track builds slowly with long atmospheric sweeps and acidic electronics surrounding the groove. After a long tension filled sweep the soft stab, granular vocal elements and complementary rhythms get introduced to the ever so slightly beefed up groove. The eerie sci-fi drop casts a moody shadow over the piece and brings back the long tension filled sweep which reveals the intricate groove once more for a trippy, atmospheric finish . Certainly one of Matias’ most refined productions to date.
The final remix on the package sees the debut of a new alias from Hamed Safi otherwise known as one half of the Canadian duo Beat Syndrome. The new alias is Sharkstar and looks to focus on cutting edge electronic club music. Sharkstar’s ‘Roll The Dice’ interpretation begins with a techy, percussive groove that provides some instant dance floor punch. The unique electronics from the original work their way into the mix and a grinding sequence of synths adds an incredible, energy filled hook which sounds really dynamic with the techy groove below. Some serious tension is built up with the grinding synths growing in intensity and eventually building to a nice climax which washes all the atmosphere out of the composition and strips it down to the punishing groove. A great complement to the previous more minimal mixes, look for some serious dance floor magic here. A great debut for Hamed Safi’s Sharkstar alias and Travis MacDonald’s Agara imprint continues to impress. Highly recommended. Release Promo Hype Chart Top 25