Progressive House Reviews

Napalm & d-phrag – Boundless EP (Stereo Paradise)

The duo of Napalm & d-phrag continue their assault on the progressive house underground. After making their debut on Jacco@Work’s LuPS imprint back in October of 2012 Napalm & d-phrag have built up a discography which includes appearances on Sleepless Nights, Balkan Connection and Reelaux. This week sees their debut on Tvardovsky’s Stereo Paradise imprint with a new EP entitled ‘Boundless’ which includes remixes from: Monster of Density, Ewan Rill and Matias Chilano.

The title cut gets the EP underway with a tightly constructed framework that quickly builds with some trippy melodies fading into the mix. The choppy percussion gives the track great dance floor energy and the melancholic chord changes work the emotional senses quite well. Rough stabs add some superior character to the melodic groove as it flows forward through a nice climax. The unique thing here is that it’s void of any real breakdown which makes it ideal for keeping the energy constant on the dance floor.

The first remix of ‘Boundless’ comes from Monster of Density who are making their debut on Stereo Paradise here. The trio from Buenos Aires, Argentina began the Monster Of Density moniker in early 2011 and have since appeared on a large range of good labels including: Sound Avenue, 99percentrecordings, Bermudos, Crossfrontier Audio and Stripped Digital. Known for a cool blend of Progressive House and Techno Monster of Density is definitely a production outfit on the rise. For their ‘Boundless’ interpretation Monster of Density’ have crafted a swirling, atmospheric rework that really packs some dance floor punch. A tough groove along with hook heavy synths and haunting vocal elements makes this a real peak time gem from Monster Of Density.

The second and final remix of ‘Boundless’ comes from Ewan Rill who has been incredibly active through the first quarter of 2013. The Russian producer has 24 releases thus far this year and his remix here along with one on Balkan Connection marks a big week for Ewan. His ‘Boundless’ interpretation goes down as the most club friendly version on the package. A powerful but spacious groove sits at the foundation while dominant drums and rhythmic synths add some killer momentum to the track. The main break presents a freshly processed take on the hypnotic melodies from the original and builds the composition back up for an epic conclusion. Solid work as always from Ewan.

The second original on the EP ‘Vertigo’ comes with a dreamy, atmospheric vibe that is just fantastic. The club friendly framework lays things out nicely for the dance floor while some trippy electronics and fresh vocal samples provide some worthy sensory stimulation. A broken beat section half way though really stands out as well as it creates the perfect atmospheric interlude while still keeping a hint of the groove there. As the foundation of the piece drops back in the extra beats stay and complement the groove in a very dynamic way which only adds to the swirling atmospheric finish. The second of two great productions from Napalm & d-phrag here.

The lone remix of ‘Vertigo’ 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. Matias has crafted a powerful interpretation of ‘Vertigo’ that really stands out for us. A tough, percussive groove is accented with acid bass stabs and a back drop of rich atmospheric textures. The main drops builds some palatable tension as a bubbly acidic underbelly, sheets of white noise and haunting vocal pads all escalate to a massive climax that should fare really well on the new school progressive dance floors out there. Another exceptional package from Tvardovsky’s Stereo Paradise who have been one of the most consistent labels thus far in 2013. Highly recommended. Release Promo Hype Chart Top 25

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