Progressive House Reviews

Rikki Sawyer – Numb (On The Inside) (Balkan Connection)

Rikki Sawyer

The 343rd release on Balkan Connection welcomes Rikki Sawyer to the label for his debut single.

Rikki Sawyer

The UK producer has been crafting his unique fusion of progressive and techno since early 2013 when he released his first ever EP on RELEASE. Subsequent appearances on Lowbit Records, Mistique Music and Suffused Music brought Rikki’s cutting edge sound to a wider audience and now he makes his Balkan Connection debut with ‘Numb (On The Inside)’ alongside remixes from Rasti Tkac and Subconscious Tales.

The release begins with the original version which finds Rikki exploring an enchanting vocal construction. The UK producer’s meticulously crafted beats and warm bass swells carve out a great groove before a story board of vocal gates begins to build poignant tension. Following an effects heavy first half the full vocal is unleashed for the ultimate rush of emotion. Delicate strums add a touch of elegance and deliver an unforgettable conclusion that’s sure to produce some great moments on the dance floor. For the less vocally inclined there is also a dub included which features the same cutting edge production and dynamic groove minus the full vocal elements.

The first interpretation of ‘Numb (On The Inside)’ is provided by Rasti Tkac who is making his first appearance on Balkan Connection. Long time progressive house fans know the Slovakian producer from his much loved productions with Thomas Haverlik which date back 10 years now. The duo crafted many progressive gems including Tyra, Synthia and Noel. Productions from Rasti were scare for years until just recently when he completed solo remix projects for Clinique Recordings and Welcome Music. For his ‘Numb (On The Inside)’ interpretation Rasti has reworked the track into a deep and powerful gem. Anchored by a more minimalistic groove it’s funky bass stabs and smooth rhythms are immediately captivating. Restrained use of the vocals makes for a dubbier feel throughout all while not losing their enchanting qualities that makes the original so special. Great remix from Rasti.

The second and final interpretation of ‘Numb (On The Inside)’ is provided by Subconscious Tales who is making his first appearance on Balkan Connection. Latvian producer Ivars Tilix debuted his new alias on Suffused Music in July of 2014. It saw a stylistic shift from the brighter melodic sounds of Tee-Ex to a deep, dubby and more techno inspired approach. This stirred up much hype in the progressive house underground and Subconscious Tales went on to release two EPs with Suffused Music as well as remix projects for BC2 and Mistique Music. For his ‘Numb (On The Inside)’ interpretation Subconscious Tales has delivered an appropriately coined ‘Psychedelic Dub’. It’s smooth hypnotic energy and slow building approach delivers an exhilarating rush while the addition of a hypno vocal loop pushes for a great conclusion. Excellent remix from Subconscious Tales and a top notch release from Balkan Connection. One of their all time best in fact. Don’t miss it.

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