Michael & Levan and Stiven Rivic – Route 85 (Kunai Records)

Michael & Levan and Stiven Rivic’s ‘Route 85’ was released on Darin Epsilon’s Perspectives Digital in July of 2013. It went down as one of the trio’s strongest originals of the year and was also one of Perspectives most talked about releases. The third release on Kunai Records features a brand new 2014 interpretation of ‘Route 85’ along with remixes from: Andrea Cassino & Danny Lloyd, Maindave and Pete McCarthey.

Michael & Levan and Stiven Rivic‘s 2014 rework is a fabulous reconstruction. The shimmering atmospheric backdrop is deeply mesmerizing and the well textured beats are quite tantalizing. As the piece builds a restrained calm comes over the track along with a subtle musicality which carries forward and into the break. The brief drop serves to introduce some lead hooks which are quite dramatic and just add to the growing atmosphere of the record. The second half sees the trio bring together a wealth of subtle harmonics for what results in a very strong musical presence and one that will sit with you long after the night is over.

The first remix is provided by Andrea Cassino & Danny Lloyd who have been a hotly tipped production duo this year. Although generally working solo when Andrea and Danny find the right project to collaborate on the results are always spectacular. Two top remixes for Lowbit have certainly been indicative of that and their interpretation of ‘Route 85’ has turned out amazingly well. An energetic groove with some wonderful modulation lays the down the framework at the outset. As the piece builds well textured synths and very vibrant drums add perfectly to the uptempo groove. The pristinely crafted breakdown is a serene musical interlude which also serves to introduced some soft rhythmic tones which add an entirely new theme for the records second act. It’s a strong conclusion which is remarkably Dutch sounding and should serve the contemporary floors really well.

The second remix comes from Maindave who long time progressive house will remember from his releases on Mistique over the course of 2009-2010. The Argentinean producer has been quiet the last couple of years but makes a huge return here with a deep and groovy interpretation of ‘Route 85’. The backroom sensibilities are the perfect complement to the previous two interpretations. The intoxicating backdrop of dubby atmospheres and character drenched synths is truly remarkable and the groove is sure to light the floor on fire. Maindave has also incorporated some of Michael, Levan and Stiven‘s great musical elements but with a much more delicate and subtle twist. An outstanding interpretation that’s sure to be a favourite of deep house and progressive DJs alike.

The final remix on the release comes from Pete McCarthey who is making his first appearance on Kunai. Pete has long been one of the most under-rated and under appreciated producers from the talent rich country of Greece. For his ‘Route 85’ interpretation Pete has completely over-hauled the track into an infectious tech house groover. The hypnotic sensibilities are bang on the money here and add such immense swing to the groove that you can’t help but want to hear this on a club system. Pete’s re-created the entire theme of the record with a hook heavy lead vocal loop which is incredibly pleasing. Rising atmospheres and a classically styled musical theme carry the piece to a sophisticated conclusion that goes down as one of Pete’s best to date.

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