The word ‘classic’ is thrown about too much these days, but Pete Bones is one of the few producers still active who can legitimately claim to have written several, with the glorious acid/piano-rush ‘Star’, released as The Shaker back in 1997, perhaps being his best known work. Crucially, however, he’s refused to let these early successes define his career and he’s been consistently releasing music for around 20 years now. This release is the first part of a two-part EP on Pangea Recordings, and it features Pete Bones’s original version of ‘Don’t You Want Me’, a remix from Serbian deep-progster Vlada D’Shake, and a remix of a second track (not included in its original form here), ‘My Definition’, by Florida-based producer Hair Band Drop-Out.
Pete Bones’s original of ‘Don’t You Want Me’ kicks off with a squelchy, groovy bassline and tight percussion, gradually adding to this foundation with a second, more hypnotic bass part that makes two timely appearances in the track, and an array of subtle melodies, dubby echoes, and metallic elements. Very understated, but soaked in atmosphere and with enough going on to hook a discerning listeners attention throughout, this is strong stuff from Pete Bones.
Better still is Vlada D’Shake’s remix. He’s known for his drawn-out, moody productions, and this is no exception. Here he plays up the melodic elements of Pete Bones’s original, as well as its second bassline, drapping everything in soft pads. A lovely, peaceful breakdown sets up the second half of the remix, where Vlada D’Shake reveals that he’s been wisely holding back his strongest ideas. A sprinkling of abstract piano keys combines with drifting pads to deliver a proggy ‘Music for Airports’ moment, before a tracier melody picks up for the track’s finale. This is yet another really beautiful piece of work from Vlada D’Shake, and will only serve to further cement his reputation.
Hair Band Drop-Out’s take on ‘My Definition’ builds a dubby vibe, with reverberating stabs, huge bass tones, and cool tabla-style percussion. The bassline works really effectively with the shimmering melodies that hover over the track, as well as with the subtle main theme that first makes an appearance at the halfway point, and reappears in the final minute and a half to give the remix it’s delicate outro. My only complaint here concerns the little synth hook that picks up around the two-minute mark, and runs throughout the rest of the track – I just couldn’t convince myself it’s in the same key as the rest of the record, which made it sound pretty incongruous. Still, it sits firmly in the background, and seems mostly there to add texture rather than melody, and so fortunately it’s not too distracting. And the overall impression that the remix leaves is still very positive, with multiple moments of real loveliness.
This is a really solid release from Pangea and Pete Bones. It’s probably fair to say it doesn’t break an awful lot of new ground, but fans of proper progressive house will find all three tracks on offer packed with strong and well-realized ideas, and Vlada D’Shake’s remix provides a real highlight. 8/10