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Robert R. Hardy – Chicago Sunrise (238 West)

The 10th release on the newly formed 238 West imprint is out this week and it features the debut of Robert R. Hardy to the label.

Robert R. Hardy - Chicago Sunrise

It’s a fitting pairing as both the label and artist have been riding amazing hot streaks. Robert has really come into his own as a artist and his productions have never been getting more support while 238West has made a remarkable run already at just 10 releases in. The US imprint has a diverse catalog with laid back progressive house and deep house being the focus. Robert’s debut single for 238 West is entitled ‘Chicago Sunrise’ and it comes with remixes from David R. Maddocks and Forniva.

Since Robert starting using his R. Hardy alias more over the D.M.P. alias there has been a marked shift in his productions. The deep, atmospheric vibes are still intact but the groove construction has been much more defined for the dance floor. On ‘Chicago Sunrise’ we have what is likely one of Robert’s career best productions. The tough beats and smooth lines are complemented with a distinctive vocal story running through the production. It’s unquestionably captivating and the gradually building rhythms carry the track with ease into the main break. As the beats return the vocal gets washed away and the effect of just the groove is extraordinarily dramatic. Bound to be a big moment on the dance floor it sets up a second half and conclusion to a record that really tells a story. Great stuff from Robert.

The first interpretation of ‘Chicago Sunrise’ is provided by David R. Maddocks who is making his first appearance on 238 West. The Irish producer had a great year with appearances on BC2, Green Snake Records and Mindwarp Records. David’s unique take on deep, soulful techno has lent itself quite well to ‘Chicago Sunrise’. The riveting storyboard from the original has been reinvented over a warped, druggy, acidic foundation which is loaded with groove. The addition of some plonky, piano-like stabs carries the track into a trippy break where sweeping, electric sounding synths become the star of the show; and remain a focal point as the second half commences. The record climaxes with the vocal elements getting looped into a killer vortex style swirl and the lead stabs returning for an epic moment. Great stuff from David.

The second and final interpretation of ‘Chicago Sunrise’ is provided by Forniva who is making his first appearance on 238 West. Hailing from Sarajevo Moke Okeric aka Forniva is widely regarded as one of the top Indie Dance / Deep House producers from his country. 2014 appearances on Hator Records and Submarine Vibes have been exceptional and he’s closed the year out with a great interpretation of ‘Chicago Sunrise’. Backed by an irresistibly funky groove this mix seems tailor made for a broad range of dance floors. By far the dubbiest of the three mixes the vocal elements only appear a few times for very brief instances. This mix works solely on the strength of its groove and great bass hooks. Solid remix from Forniva and a stellar release from 238 West, one of my favourites on the label to date. Highly Recommended.

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