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Michael & Levan and Stiven Rivic – The Puppet Master (Kunai Records)

Michael & Levan and Stiven Rivic’s Kunai Records returns this week for the labels fifth overall release. It once again features the much loved production trio who are presenting their second original production of the year. The trio’s 2014 update on their Perspectives Digital classic ‘Route 85’ was released with much success in early January and here they present their newest studio creation entitled ‘The Puppet Master’ which includes remixes from Kastis Torrau & Arnas D and Micah.

As the Michael & Levan and Stiven Rivic sound continues to evolve their production prowess subsequently attracts even more fans. ‘The Puppet Master’ finds the trio presenting a swirling blend of tech house rhythms and hazy harmonic structures. The quirky foundation is loaded with rolling undulation while an array of twinkly electronics slowly surrounds the piece and dazzles the senses. Glacial guitar textures flow smoothly over the rumbling foundation and lead the track to a stripped down portion where an additional line of bass stabs complements the menacing groove further. The second half continues to build and presents a barrage of dancing rhythms which pushes the piece forward to an exhilarating conclusion. Huge stuff from Michael & Levan and Stiven Rivic.

The Lithuanian duo of Kastis Torrau & Arnas D have been long been regarded as one of the tightest productions duos in progressive house. After winning the Sasha Burn Studios remix competition in 2011 Kastis and Arnas went on to appear on a wide range of cutting edge imprints including: Perspectives Digital, Soundteller and Pro-B-Tech Records. Their interpretation of ‘The Puppet Master’ once again showcases their remarkable studio expertise. As with all Kastis Torrau & Arnas D productions every single element is spaced and processed perfectly so the entire composition breathes and generates a wicked groove. The deep, pulsating bass tones are absolutely exquisite as they create such nice character and warmth. The catchy hooks fade in and out of the framework along with an array of sweeping electronics and haunting vocal elements which assault your senses until the track reaches a smooth climax. Stellar stuff from Kastis Torrau & Arnas D that is sure to be rocking a dance floor near you soon.

Micah / Micah Paul Lukasewich (Ruhnsong/Global Underground/Audiotherapy). The man behind the legendary “Ruhnsong” radio mixes and such progressive house hits as “Bent – As You Fall (Micah’s Swollen Booty)” and “Slacker – Psychout (Micah’s Tribute to a legend remix)” has taken a few years off from the DJ circuit only to return with a fresh new sound, production abilities and a new moniker. For Micah’s much anticipated return he has crafted three interpretations of ‘The Puppet Master’ with the first being the ‘Roy Batty Boogie’ Remix. The Canadian producer has reinvented himself marvellously here with a much groovier take on the hypnotic original. Buzzing electronic hooks and a cool clattering groove lay down a great foundation early before the subtle melodic themes slowly become more prevalent. The glistening harmonics are absolutely divine and are rich in emotional content. The gyrating underbelly of rhythmic elements provides the ultimate contrast here and locks the groove down just a notch tighter. Following a stripped down second act the heartfelt melodies reappear and get further expanded upon with some complementary plucks and haunting vocal stabs. A remarkable interpretation from Micah and one that should certainly receive a lot of play in the coming months. Micah’s second interpretation the ‘Hannibal Chew’ remix is a much deeper and dubbier affair. Well sequenced vocal stabs and a murky back room vibe set an amazing atmosphere early on. A growling stab and reinforced kick add some dynamic punch to the groove while the hazy atmosphere continues to build tension. After a short drop a choppy, techno inspired tone comes over the production which adds a stompy, dance floor infused energy to the piece. Well processed electronics and beautifully distorted harmonies slowly encompass the framework and build to a unique climax which would have to be considered one of Micah’s most ambitious productions to date. Also included is Micah’s ‘Hannibal Chew Deep Edit’ which reworks many of the great elements from the previous mix into a starker, more stripped down and equally enthralling affair.

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