Norwich-based producer and DJ Scotty.A returns to Proton to curate another deep four-track EP in his ‘Transatlantic’ series, featuring originals from Frank Maris, Pasiphaë Group and Scotty.A himself, as well as a Scotty.A remix.
Scotty.A’s own track sees him continue to pull his sound further into deep house territory, though there’s still plenty of crossover appeal for more progressively-oriented dancefloors here. Hypnoptic synth lines and dubby echoes float over springy percussion, before Scotty.A introduces modal key changes and a no-nonsense bassline that give the track something of a classic techno flavour. After a more stripped back middle sequence, the final third adds more atmospheric string-like countermelodies that subtly add texture and trippiness. This is a track that’s going to really appeal to a wide range of people, given its strong roots in a range of different styles.
Frank Maris follows up the sparkling ‘Aleph’ on Scotty.A’s first ‘Transatlantic’ release as well as a great series of singles and remixes for Axon. ‘Bhagavad Gita’ is a low-tempo beauty, with a compelling bass motif sitting underneath understated but lovely synths, before the track picks up momentum with firing hi-hats, melodic stabs, and a weird but wonderful vocal loop. This is a really distinctive and fantastic track, and the sweet, spacy outro that picks up on themes from an earlier breakdown leaves things on a high note.
Scotty.A’s remix of ‘Bhagavad Gita’ takes some of the chimes themes of Frank Maris’s original and works them over a groovy bassline, before gently teasing in the vocal. Those gentle but insistent stabs are deployed to good effect, while some beautifully airy pads give the final act a lovely dreamy quality. I didn’t like Scotty.A’s version quite as much as the original, but it’s a tad tougher and more floor-friendly, and it’s easy to imagine it working to warm up a crowd while taking things a notch deeper.
Finally, Texas’s Pasiphaë Group offers up ‘Control’, which features Eno-style ambience floating over crisp house rhythms and a warm bassline, and subtle vocal samples and fragments of guitars making appearances as the track slowly builds. There are some very nice ideas here, and the gentle outro is really lovely, but overall I found it a touch on the repetitive side – I’d have liked to have seen a bit more development of the main ideas as the track progressed.
I’ve been saying for a long time now that Scotty.A’s relationship with Proton has been astoundingly fruitful, and with ‘Transatlantic 2’ we can see that very clearly again. My pick here, though, is Frank Maris’s ‘Bhagavad Gita’, and its great to see Scotty.A give his music the platform it deserves once again.