Progressive House Reviews

Stas Drive – Arkaim (Balkan Connection)

The 272nd release on Balkan Connection sees the label releasing another one of the great selections from its Amsterdam 2013 Sampler. Stas Drive’s ‘Arkaim’ was one of the standouts on the collection with its distinctive chimes and soulful harmonics. This week sees it’s official single release with two brand new remixes from Namatjira and Matias Chilano.

It’s a daunting task to try and improve on Stas Drive’s original. It’s a track that both Hernan Cattaneo and Guy J loved. Hernan even featured the track in one of his monthly charts if I’m not mistaken. With that said Namatjira has done a great job here and taken things a bit deeper and even more enchanting. The murky atmospheres and powerful drums set an amazing vibe early on. As the track slowly builds towards the break more of the soulful elements from Stas Drive’s original get perfectly interwoven and with that an even more mysterious mood in created. Following a cinematic style break the kick and groove drop back in along with just a hint of the atmospheric backdrop. It’s a powerful moment and you realize how cool that groove is once it’s allowed to breathe a little bit. Solid remix from Namatjira who continues to be one of the coolest up and comers out there.

The second and final remix comes from Matias Chilano who returns to Balkan Connection for his ninth overall appearance. I’ve been loving Matias’ smooth hypnotic sound for the last year now and he’s been getting some nice support from Hernan Cattaneo as well who has been playing some of his tracks both live and on the radio. His interpretation of ‘Arkaim’ is actually one of his bigger sounding productions in the last year I would say. The groove has a great energy about it and the general haze that Matias coats his productions with has been downplayed somewhat in favour of charging lines and sparkling bells. The grinding tension that gets showcased during the break builds mightily and the resulting payoff is surprisingly massive. Should be huge on the dance floor and it’s great to see Matias trying something very different on his remix here as it would have been easy to do a deep, atmospheric version that most of his fans likely expect. Great release from Balkan Connection; one of their best this year in fact.

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