As a fan of Withakay’s work, I’ve been tuning into his new TR20 project with Joshua Tobin with great interest, and the duo have already made some strong appearances on labels like Axon and Baroque. ‘Road Sines’ is the first release from TR20’s new label Kyubu, and it comes from the guys themselves, backed with a remix from legendary producer and DJ Barry Jamieson.
TR20’s original is tough and experimental, building a menacing and driving techno sound in the first half with punchy percussion, metallic effects, and an unsettling, wonked-out bassline. The breakdown introduces a bubbling, acidic arpegiated melody, which dominates the second half of the track while tinkling, picked countermelodies fill out the space. The melodic ideas are strong enough here, though I found the sounds used just a bit too harsh for my taste, and as a result they lacked the emotional impact they might have had.
Barry Jamieson does a really terrific job of taking TR20’s track and turning it into a warm, uplifting piece of progressive house. His remix works snippets of the original’s bass over a chugging, chord-shifting bassline, before introducing a simple but really lovely melody line that really lifts the track. It’s definitely nowhere near as distinctive as TR20’s version, but it’ll probably enjoy much wider appeal – certainly, this is the version that I liked most.
This is a really promising start for Kyubu, with TR20 letting themselves push the boundaries a bit, and Barry Jamieson’s remix taking the track into more familiar – but also more beautiful – territory. 7.5/10