Progressive House Reviews

Neil Browne – Clear / Bright EP (Kyubu Records)

Neil Browne

Neil Browne returns to Kyubu Records this week with ‘Clear / Bright’ alongside remixes from Deepfunk and Stephen J. Kroos.

Neil Browne

This is Kyubu’s first release of 2015 which follows a hugely successful first year for the label. At just seven releases old the global imprint has showcased projects with Andre Sobota and Barry Jamieson as well as pushing fresh names such as Han Haak and Che Armstrong. The labels latest features two tracks from UK producer Neil Browne who remixed Andre Sobota’s ‘Southern Sundance’ in December of last year.

The release begins with ‘Clear’ which finds Neil showcasing one of the grooviest creations of his career. A tight framework along with subterranean swells and acidic rhythms generate wicked swing early on. As the piece develops a light hypnotic overlay adds an air of anticipation and carries the track into the main break. As the framework gets stripped down a calculated build drops the beats out momentarily as the modulation gets cranked for a wicked re-entry. Long gaseous sweeps make for an intense second half and the vocal elements although quite indistinct add mightily to the motif. It doesn’t take long before you feel what a massive presence the track has. It’s phenomenally produced and the sum of its parts adds up to a gargantuan sounding dance floor beast. Brilliant stuff from Neil.

The lone interpretation of ‘Clear’ is provided by Deepfunk who is making his first appearance on Kyubu Records. You tend to expect a lot from the Maltese producer as he’s crafted so many excellent pieces of music in the past and he’s more than delivered here once again. Malcolm’s radical reinvention is so good in fact it sits comfortably alongside his best ever remixes. He’s transformed Neil’s beastly original into an emotive piece of electronic brilliance. It’s slow burning build is executed with subtle modulation and sparkling melodic sketches. A perfectly executed main break is bound for many a goosebump moment and that elegant atmospheric haze takes you home in style. The near 11 minute running time might be long on paper but you get so lost in its shimmering storyboard that an hour could pass and you wouldn’t even know it. Gorgeous work from Deepfunk.

The companion piece ‘Bright’ sits alongside ‘Clear’ quite nicely. Beginning with a sleek, rhythmic approach it’s timeless sensibility is quite high. Then the rib cage shattering foundation drops in and you’re off on a ride of gnarly bass modulation. It’s monumentally groovy and a complement of tweaked rhythms just adds to its bouncy appeal. Through the meanness of the groove there’s a playful energy though, one which you might not expect and it makes for quite a unique and captivating production. Wicked stuff from Neil once again.

The lone interpretation of ‘Bright’ is provided by Stephen J. Kroos who is making his first appearance on Kyubu Records. The Dutch producer has been featured on esteemed imprints such as Anjunadeep, Manual Music and Replug Records. 2014 saw the release of his ‘A Multimodal Approach To Investigate The Hallucinating Brain Of Stephen J. Kroos’ project which was one of the year’s most intriguing LPs. For his ‘Bright’ interpretation Stephen has reworked the track into his own wobbly, acidic beast. An effects storyboard along with fresh designs, a tweaked out break and an emotive third act make for one of the best remixes of Stephen’s career. It rounds out a fabulous first release of 2015 for Kyubu Records in style. Highly Recommended.

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