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Namatjira – Mawara (Symmetric Records)

This week sees the first release of a very promising new imprint. Spanish born, Dutch based producer Oscar Holgado created his Symmetric Records imprint earlier this year and all indications at the time were that it would be one 2014’s most impressive new labels. Symmetric’s much anticipated first release is here and it features one of the most underrated progressive house producers of the moment Namatjira. The first half of 2014 saw the Dutch producer with solid outings on Classound Recordings, Asymmetric Recordings, Balkan Connection and Spring Tube Limited. Namatjira’s debut single for Symmetric in entitled ‘Mawara’ and it comes with remixes from Stephen J Kroos and Terje Saether.

I’ve remarked on several occasions previous to this about Namatjira’s consistent improvement from production to production. He seems to just grow with each successive outing and ‘Mawara’ is further proof of that. At one point the Dutch producer was more focused on deep productions but there seems to be a more progressive influence of late which again is evident on ‘Mawara’. The track is not only a joy to listen to but comes with a strong enough groove that it should also fair quite well on the dance floor. The delicately textured melodies and airy atmospheric backdrop are a match made in heaven. The lead lines are quite unique in that they are hypnotic but still offer some nice hooks which enhance the pulsating groove below. Following a gorgeous first half and stripped down middle section the waves of percussion slowly gets added back in along with those contemporary sounding melodies which results in an exhilarating conclusion that ranks right up there with Namatjira’s best.

The first remix is supplied by Stephen J Kroos who I’ve been a fan of since his initial EP on Anjunadeep from 2010. The Dutch producer went on to appear on the massive UK imprint an additional 14 times and has also found a nice home on one of Russia’s finest labels Spring Tube. For his ‘Mawara’ interpretation Stephen has delivered the perfect tech house complement to Namatjira’s more progressive original. The overall funkiness of the production is what really stands out. A wide array of rhythmic stabs, catchy edits and unique vocal elements meld together for an irresistible groove that should be very appealing to a broad range of dance floors. It’s great to see such a unique and creative rework here, excellent work from Stephen.

The second and final remix is provided by Norwegian producer Terje Saether. A huge moment in Terje’s career came when he signed his ‘The Train’ production to Nick Warren’s Hope Recordings. The track was subsequently remixed by Eelke Kleijn and Terje has since appeared on Parquet Recordings and Connaisseur Recordings. For his ‘Mawara’ interpretation the Norwegian producer has crafted a powerful yet funky rework that closes the release out very strong. Terje’s big bass stabs and complementary rhythms make for an incredibly strong groove and the subtle modulation throughout keeps the vibe super fresh. The middle portion of the record sees more of the musical content come to life with glassy harmonics not only adding some nice tension but emotion as well. It’s a very strong remix and also my favourite on the release. I can imagine Oscar probably put a lot of pressure on himself to deliver something special for Symmetric’s launch and I would say he’s succeeded and then some. A great original and two very solid remixes that deliver something totally different. You can’t go wrong with any selection on this release. Highly Recommended.

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