Praveen Achary’s Juicebox Music returns with a brand new EP from Subandrio to kick off 2016 for the label.
The Indian imprint has been one of the brightest lights in the progressive house new school. Juicebox Music would have to be one of the most meticulously curated imprints out there in fact, it’s nice when you can feel there is real time, thought and care being put into each release. The labels latest welcomes Subandrio for his debut EP entitled ‘Lost In Sigiriya’ alongside remixes from Monojoke and Vlada D’Shake.
Much like Juicebox Music, Sri Lankan artist Subandrio has also stood out from the progressive house pack. Released in early 2015, his debut EP for Cid Inc’s Replug Records paved the way for his rugged sound, and he went on to many great successes as a result, including an appearance on Hernan Cattaneo’s Sudbeats 3 collection later in the year. Here we see two fresh originals which would have to be considered his finest productions to date. The title cut ‘Sigiriya’ finds Subandrio crafting an energetic progressive techno hybrid. Always one to carve out a killer groove, the Sri Lankan producer has outdone himself here, with waves of elastic-like bass resulting in the ultimate momentum building anchor. Catchy arps and bands of effects soon fill the air and the electricity soars as a result. It’s monumental music to say the least and sets up a break of escalating stabs and trails of panned effects, which make for an epic moment when the beats do finally drop. Enormous music from Subandrio.
The companion piece ‘Lost Soul’ is equally brilliant and my favourite of the two actually. There’s more of a cross-cultural influence here which is crafted with just the right amount of nuance to keep it on the right side of cool. Led by soul infused flutes, indistinct melodies and another magically carved groove, it’s a touch subtler than ‘Sigiriya’ and comes off more emotive as a result. Two brilliant cuts from Subandrio and for me, his most inspired work yet.
The two remixes supplied here not only take the tracks somewhere unique and different but they also showcase who are two of this year’s rising names in progressive house. First up Monojoke takes ‘Sigiriya’ into bigger, beefier territory with a revamped groove and his trademark effects collage, which are always a sensory delight. A lead tonal theme gives it great bounce along the way and the break brings some lovely emotion with a storyboard of chord changes and sweeping designs. Never one to shy away from the big moment, Monojoke delivers the ultimate payoff with a massive drop, perfectly setting up a third act dominated by the lead stabs from the original. Massive work from Monojoke.
Closing the release out is Vlada D’Shake, who along with Monojoke is one of the more underappreciated artists in the underground. His ‘Pleks’ EP for Balkan Connection still resonates with all its quirks and he’s delivered a great interpretation of ‘Lost Soul’ here. Vlada’s production seems to be getting even more polished as he’s really brought some unique sonic sculpting here. A touch twisted yes, but not in an overbearing or offensive way, it’s subtle, and they way the main motifs have been reinvented is really refreshing. It’s all anchored by a (somewhat) Cid Inc inspired groove as well so you know it’s going to play well on the floor. Beautiful work from Vlada who is definitely on his way to big things this year.
Praveen Achary and Juicebox Music deliver big once again, gotta be one of the labels finest offerings yet. Highly Recommended.