Greece’s Stergios returns to 238W, following up the excellent ‘Eyes on the South’ with new track ‘Obscure’, accompanied by remixes from Huminal and Volkan Erman.
There’s a lovely crisp, clean sound to Stergios’s original, which is striking from the very first beats, and the track soon starts to build with hypnotic layer upon layer and driving stabs, all punctuated by rich, punchy piano notes. The breakdown doesn’t shake things up too much, but as the track powers back to life Stergios hits us with new, glossy melodic ideas and spacey effects, which work really well with the other elements of the record.
Huminal’s take on Stergios’s track gets off to a more atmospheric start, with melancholy pads drifting over an intro that manages to be both DJ-friendly and engaging, before the track settles down into a icy-cool, stab-driven progressive groove. The bass work on this remix is just excellent, and the Huminal boys take the listener through some nice twists and turns as they build tension heading towards the breakdown, while the breakdown itself is packed full of dramatic bassy rumbles and spacey melodies.
Finally, Volkan Erman sticks a bit closer to Stergois’s original, while giving the track a bit more presence and trance-prog crossover appeal. I’d have liked a little bit more progression over the 8 minutes run-time here – while the original holds back a lot of the main melodic ideas until the second half, Volkan Erman gets them on the table much earlier, which works well but leaves him without much new happening in the second half. It still sounds gorgeous – I just would have liked to hear him switch things up a bit more later in the track.
This is a really nice package from the ever reliable 238W crew, but while I like all three versions of Stergios’s track, it’s Huminal’s remix that really stands out here for my money.