Progressive House Reviews

Michael & Levan and Stiven Rivic – Favela (Soundteller Records)

Deersky’s Soundteller Records returns this week for what is undoubtedly the labels best release this year. It features the return of Michael & Levan and Stiven Rivic to the label. The much loved producer trio first appeared on Soundteller with a remix of Noa Romana & Deersky’s ‘See You Soon’ which was released in July of last year. For the labels 31st overall release we see Michael, Levan and Stiven with their first single entitled ‘Favela’ which includes remixes from: Dousk & Van Bellen.

Michael & Levan and Stiven Rivic have had a great 2014 thus far. Their Kunai Records imprint continues to deliver their exceptional productions and they’ve also recently appeared on Stellar Fountain and System Recordings with rave reviews. Their debut single for Soundteller finds the trio with one of their dreamiest creations of the year. The floaty melodies and spacey atmospheres of ‘Favela’ are immediately captivating and the strength of the groove below makes it perfect for the dance floor. The second or main breakdown is one of the highlights with a definitive tension that builds through the dreamy haze. As it gradually becomes more intense the delicate beats are summoned back in for a wonderful moment. I could see this being a huge record when the sun is coming up and like I said stated earlier it’s one of MLSR’s dreamiest productions ever. Don’t miss it.

The first remix is supplied by Dousk who is making his first appearance on Soundteller. The Greek producer shot into the electronic music spotlight in 2004 with releases on John Digweed’s Bedrock imprint; subsequent releases on Vapour, Lost Language and Global Underground soon followed and with that Dousk became one of the most sought after producers from the talent rich country of Greece. Recently Dousk has found a home releasing on Proton Music with several of his latest productions coming courtesy of the prominent US imprint. Dousk’s ‘Favela’ interpretation is a standout mix on the release. His productions always have a great dance floor sensibility and they stand the test of time quite well. The Greek producers big beats, dubby vocals and unmistakable drums carve out a nice groove early on. The bass heavy stabs carry a lot of weight and some subtle modulation keeps the line fresh throughout the entire production. The track really starts to generate some nice momentum once the brighter rhythms get worked in and it leads the track into the main break. Here a tension building tone gently rises and summons the beats back in along with loosely clattered drums which sound absolutely deadly all through the second half conclusion. Outstanding work from Dousk with nice support coming in from Marc Poppcke, Kastis Torrau and Stas Drive.

The second and final remix is provided by Van Bellen who is making his first appearance on Soundteller. Van Bellen was one of the most loved artists from the peak of the progressive house sound from 1998-2004. Sasha and Digweed were among his biggest supporters and perhaps he is most well known for the dance floor bomb ‘Pushin Too Hard’ which was produced under his Saints & Sinners alias. He’s enjoyed an amazing resurgence over the last year or two with releases on Sound Avenue, Stellar Fountain and Suffused Music. For his ‘Favela’ interpretation Van Bellen has taken the dreamy elements from the original and recreated them in a much more subtle fashion over one of his irresistible grooves. The wide array of drum elements and electronic intricacies which dominate the first part of the production are outstanding. Meticulously produced and full of vibrant energy. As the track continues to build several hypnotic layers gradually fade into the mix along with some hazy keys and heartfelt pads. The main break builds even more emotion as a gorgeous sequence of keys takes things even further into blissful territory. In my opinion it’s Van Bellen’s best work since returning to the scene and it’s also earned praise from Anthony Pappa who has favoured this mix on the release. Outstanding release from Deersky’s Soundteller Records and it will surely go down as one of the labels best this year.

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