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Philip James de Vries – This Month Only (Strange Town Records)

The latest release on Strange Town Recordings welcomes Philip James de Vries to the label for his debut single.

Philip James de Vries - This Month Only (Stange Town Records)

Based in Toronto and one of the core artists on Wide Angle Recordings Phil has carved out a unique place in electronic music. His contemporary sound has a wonderful timeless vibe about it and crosses over nicely into techno territories as well. His latest and also debut for Strange Town promises to be his best yet and includes remixes from Futur-E and Michael A.

If you follow Phil’s music you know he’s equally adept at creating beautiful, melodic creations as he is warped and druggy motifs. On ‘This Month Only’ you actually get the best of both worlds. Anchored by a grungy, shifting wall of sub bass, a vocal story board begins to develop, and I have to say it’s incredibly compelling, with an off-set gender, almost choir like appeal. It carries the track with ease to a dramatic break as an underbelly of acid builds a sizeable amount of tension, before setting up a wonderful third act of soaring synths, making for an epic yet moderately twisted conclusion. However you take it, this is really unique and contemporary sounding electronic music and worth several listens to truly appreciate. Wonderful stuff from Philip.

The first interpretation of ‘This Month Only’ is provided by Futur-E who is making his first appearance on Strange Town. The Greek producer is known for a fresh sound which fuses techno minded grooves with progressive sensibilities. In the last five years he’s racked up an impressive discography with releases on Inlab Recordings, Cinematique, MNL and Tulipa. For his ‘This Month Only’ interpretation Futur-E has put his own unique techno inspired twist on the track. The fluid vocal narrative which played so nicely in Phil’s original comes off a bit more sample based here which ultimately makes for a more hypnotic, vortex like effect. That in conjunction with a deep, punishing groove and some lovely rhythmic elements make not only for a great mix but also a perfect companion to Phil’s original.

The second and final interpenetration of ‘This Month Only’ is provided by Michael A who is also making his first appearance on Strange Town. Michael hails from Belarus and continues to be one of the progressive undergrounds best talents. It’s been amazing to watch him rise and he’s definitely on an amazing journey at the moment. As the year is now nearly over he has collected much support from Hernan Cattaneo, Nick Warren and Guy J, and when I say support I mean real support. Hernan and Guy are consistently playing his records both live and for their radio/DJ sets. If that wasn’t enough Michael also started his own Genesis Music label this year and he’s also branched out and signed productions to Tulipa Records and Superordinate Music. For his Strange Town debut we see Michael again crafting that perfectly produced contemporary progressive house for which he is so loved. In making great use of the grinding acidic lines Michael has carved out a menacing groove with a cascading modular quality, which just enhances the tracks wonderfully hypnotic swing. Light tonal stabs and great use of the vocal elements along with a slow burning build make for an eight plus minutes of sonic pleasure and certainly round the release out on a strong note. A top notch release from Strange Town full of great variety and quality music. Don’t miss it.

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