Spanish label Univack is back with their second release of 2014, and their 27th overall, having recently hosted such luminaries as Oliver Lieb, DNYO and Erich Lesovsky, to name just a few. This release serves up melodic techno from young German producer Oovation, backed by remixes from GRG, Luis Bondio, and Spitbastard.
Oovation’s original of ‘Der Aufstand’ initially pitches heavy stabs against a mournful melody, with the bassline quickly providing a dark but effective counterpoint. The percussion really fires up climbing out of a first short break, before the track heads towards the breakdown. Here a glassy motif takes centre-stage, before the bass takes over, leading to a superb build up which sees swelling, brassy tones setting up a cool drop. The melodic ideas here are well realized, and there’s a real edge to it, providing an excellent bittersweet hit.
Brazilian GRG turns the track into a heavy-hitting tech-houser, with crisp hi-hats, snare hits, and a massive, menacing bassline topped off with atmospheric hooks from Oovation’s original. A lovely breakdown nicely highlights some of the melodies from the original, but the groove quickly imposes itself again. This is my least favourite of the four versions, but it does an excellent job of tooling the track up for a slightly different dancefloor without losing too many of the original’s best ideas.
I’ve been rather down on Luis Bondio’s latest remixes on here, but he turns in a great progressive version of ‘Der Aufstand’. After a brief intro, his ‘Loot’ remix gets underway with two bass parts, an initial rumble soon joined by a simple but hypnotic offbeat bassline, and wickedly panning hooks from the original. At around the minute and half mark, the main melody starts to gently weave its way across the face of the track, and the remix keeps getting better and better as layers of countermelodies join in. After a brief breakdown, the second half proceeds much as the first, though at the climax of the track a rippling melody taken from the breakdown of the original gives it a welcome extra lift. This is lovely, understated moodiness from Luis Bondio.
Inlab-favourite Spitbastard returns us to the melodic techno sound of the original with his interpretation. A lovely intro sees shimmering synths and glassy chimes building over a simple breakbeat, before a distorted, bassy take on Oovation’s main theme introduces the beat. The bassline plays out a really compelling chord sequence, while intricate, propulsive hi-hat work and a second low-punching bass part drive the remix forward towards the breakdown. Here Spitbastard offers up a cocktail of gentle chimes and harsh stabs, the breakbeat reemerging to reintroduce a bit of forward momentum before the phenomenal second half kicks off properly. The chimes, chord changes, sweeping melodies, and the rippling motif from the original all combine beautifully to yield a really emotional, uplifting finale, while the gorgeous final minute will no doubt ensure that this closes out a few sets in the months to come. Superb.
I’ve been going back and forth on my favourite version here, and in the end I think the beauty and euphoria of Spitbastard’s version wins out. But this is an excellent package overall from Oovation and Univack, which will appeal to fans of melodic techno, progressive house, and tech-house alike. 8.5/10