Progressive House Reviews

Oscar Holgado – al-andalus (System Recordings)

Up and coming producer Oscar Holgado is one of his country’s best kept electronic music secrets. Originally from Spain but now residing in Amsterdam he’s been coming up fast through the competitive Dutch scene. His discography is short but packed with quality releases on System recordings, Balkan Connection and Baroque. 2013 looks to be Oscar’s biggest year yet with forthcoming productions for Crossfade Sounds, Balkan Connection, Outside The Box and Baroque already in the pipeline. Oscar’s newest single for System recordings ‘al-andalus’ is without a doubt his biggest release to date and with remixes from Luke Porter, Verche and Sjoerd Korsuize this might be one of the labels biggest releases this year.

If you’re familiar with Oscar’s production style you know he’s capable of soulful deep house grooves all the way through to darker progressive house. ‘al-andalus’ is one of Oscar’s most musically inspiring pieces yet. The deep, sultry groove at the outset is a bit deceiving as the track gains quite a big presence as more elements get added into the mix. As with a lot of Oscar’s tracks there is an excellent vocal component once again. A gut wrenching wail that strikes a strong emotional chord throughout the composition. It’s something that sticks with you for a while and it’s one that you’ll definitely want to hear over and over again. Top stuff from Oscar.

The first remix comes from one of the biggest attractions in progressive house at the moment. Australian producer Luke Porter’s production history is well documented. All diehard fans of the genre will certainly be familiar with his releases on Sudbeat, microCastle, Outside The Box and Lowbit. He’s a producer that seems to have a knack creating these incredibly infectious grooves with strong hypnotic elements. Luke’s production pace seems just about right as well; with an average of about 5-6 on the money productions a year he always leaves fans wanting more. His interpretation of ‘al-andalus’ has been at the top of our Hype Chart for 2 straight weeks now and we think it’s one of Luke’s biggest, most peak time records to date. That unmistakable Luke Porter groove generates a huge amount of forward momentum and once the soaring atmospheres and shifting synths get laid down it’s lights out. Just when you think it can’t get any bigger the breakdown serves to introduce a vibrant sounding section of dancing keys which provide an amazing melodic component to push the track to a huge finish. Massive stuff from Luke.

The second interpretation comes from one of System’s main production talents Verche. We’ve been raving about the Croatian producer for years now and his recent ‘Simple Ego’ album (courtesy of System) has been on our office playlist since we received it a few months ago. For his ‘al-andalus’ remix Verche has provided the perfect laid back, atmospheric complement to Luke’s floor destroying remix. The warm, intoxicating haze of melody that we love so much about Verche’s productions is incredibly strong here. The waves of seemingly endless harmonic bliss float effortlessly over a delicate sounding groove for what results in another celestial sounding masterpiece from Verche.

The final remix on the release is provided by Sjoerd Korsuize who is returning to System for his third appearance. The Netherlands based producer first came to our attention with his releases on Jacco@Work’s LuPS Records imprint. Over the course of his two year production career Sjoerd’s productions have gotten groovier and more musical. His first single for System ‘Needing You’ had one of the coolest vocal loops we heard in 2012 and here he’s provided a wicked interpretation of ‘al-andalus’ to close the release out. It falls somewhere between Oscar’s original and Luke’s remix in terms of dance floor energy and it’s just as infectious. The slightly stripped back groove which emerges about of the break is perfectly crafted to introduce those shifting tones which are sure to enduce many goose bump moments on your dance floor. Great work from Sjoerd and a massive release from System Recordings. Highly Recommended. Release Promo Hype Chart #1

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