Various Artists - Replugged Vol. 2 (Replug Records)

The 43rd release on Replug Records finds the label showcasing the second volume of its famed ‘Replugged’ series.

Various Artists - Replugged Vol. 2 (Replug Records)

With a uniquely curated touch, the Various Artists collection finds label boss Cid Inc hand picking the freshest music from all corners of the underground. Played out over ten magical tracks, ‘Replugged’ Volume 2 features new music from (in order of appearance) GMJ, Dmitry Molosh, Baunder & Interaxxis, Fernando Olaya, Simos Tagias, Michael A, Orsen, Gvozdini, Tommi Oskari and Replug boss himself Cid Inc.

The release begins by welcoming GMJ to the label with his latest studio creation ‘Sublimate’. The Aussie artist has long been one of his country’s most creative talents. Dating back to his early work on Vapour Recordings to more recent outings which have earned the praise of Hernan Cattaneo and Nick Warren. The warm, atmospheric moods of ‘Sublimate’ set the tone for the entire collection. Highlighted by exotic percussion and mystical designs, its smooth cadence brings an effervescent flair, igniting the senses for what’s to come.

The collection’s second offering is provided by Dmitry Molosh who is no stranger to Replug. Now making his second appearance on the label, the Belarus based artist follows up his ‘Boa’ EP from earlier this year. Subsequent outings on Nick Warren’s Hope Recordings, Guy Mantzur’s Plattenbank Records and Hernan Cattaneo’s Sudbeat Music have added to a tremendous 2016. Now closing the year out in style, Dmitry presents his latest production entitled ‘Horizon’. From deep and driving beginnings, the Belarus based artist methodically works a series of rhythmic themes and shimmering motifs into the mix. An aquatic underbelly takes the second act further into the deep, before the rousing groove returns amidst a of band of luminous textures and swirling harmonies. A deeper and equally exciting side to one of the underground’s brightest talents.

Next up, Baunder & Interaxxis present their latest collaborative effort entitled ‘Nebula’. Enjoying immense success in their respective careers the trio have a collective discography which includes appearances on Hernan Cattaneo’s Sudbeat Music and Guy Mantzur’s Plattenbank Records. ‘Nebula’ showcases Baunder & Interaxxis at their absolute best with a deep melancholic touch that’s engaging from start to finish. Acidic rhythms and a chunky groove bring great dance floor sensibility before the melodic content peaks as the main break commences. Glassy keys fade off in the distance as fuzzed out tones rise to prominence, ultimately summoning the tough beats and clattering drums for one final sonic rush.

Hailing from Colombia, Fernando Olaya has been one of his country’s top progressive house exports. Releases on Parquet Recordings, Traum and his own Sonnet Speciale imprint have all been brilliant. He continues that great momentum here with his much anticipated Replug debut entitled ‘Centaur’. A rippling low end and spacey atmospheres bring a meditative vibe early, before the musicality of the piece begins to shine. Indistinct but incredibly powerful, Fernando’s melodic trails and celestial pads cast a radiant glow, ultimately leading to a place of harmonic embrace.

The collection’s fifth selection welcomes Simos Tagias back to the label following his collaborative single with Jorgio Kioris from August of 2015. Noted for his groovy brand of progressive music, the Greek artist has long been a favourite of label boss Cid Inc and has also earned play and chart support from Guy J. Now returning to the label for his second appearance, Simos delivers another signature piece entitled ‘Oblivion’. Following a DJ friendly intro of fat beats and wispy atmospheres the track begins to take shape with a flurry of rhythmic elements and warm rugged grooves. Sweeping vocals add a cross-cultural flair before layers of drums ignite a tribalistic vibe. A tension filled second act keeps the groove locked, as musical meanderings whet the appetite for a quick build and dynamic conclusion. Another massive production from one of the industry’s favourites.

Based out of Belarus, Michael A remains one of the underground’s most in demand progressive house artists. Being a staple in the sets of Hernan Cattaneo, Nick Warren, Guy J and Guy Mantzur, the future holds much promise for Michael and he’s delivered some of his best ever work here with ‘Human Evolution’. Warm bass stabs and dubby tones carve out a great groove while lush vocals and glassy motifs converge for an atmospheric haze. Michael’s effortless flow carries the track with ease into a stripped down second act; advancing the vocal storyboard further to the heavens and on to an introspective yet tripped out conclusion.

Hailing from the UK but now based in Austria, Dan Baseley aka Orsen, began the year with his ‘Komorebi’ EP. Released on Sudbeat Music, the five track collection reached #1 in Beatport’s Progressive House chart, establishing Orsen as not only an incredible talent, but a name to watch as 2016 unfolded. Subsequent appearances on Darin Epsilon’s Perspectives Digital, Proton Music and Replug have shaped an incredible and tactfully planned year. Now closing it off in style, Orsen presents his latest studio creation ‘Surge’. Warped and wobbly in all the right ways, its elastic-like groove brings a boundless energy. Moody chord changes, soaring vocal pads and bands of clustered claps entice the mind, ultimately leading to the main break. Celestial in design, the track’s centrepiece serves as an emotional bridge, setting up an astral apex and elegant finale.

The collection’s eighth selection welcomes Gvozdini to the label for his debut appearance. The Ukrainian artist has been a regular in Beatport’s highly regarded Must Hear charts, and also owns releases on Paul Hazendonk’s MNL imprint. His club friendly brand of progressive house has also found its way into the charts of Hernan Cattaneo, and his latest entitled ‘Safo’ looks set for a similar fate. Its boundless energy and spiralling hypnotics set a great flow before a quick build ignites a band of wonky stabs, carrying the track into the break. The near two minute interlude is a master class in emotive moments, with poignant chord changes and surging modulation building to an exhilarating peak. A dance floor gem for the true progressive house connoisseur.

Tommi Oskari made his Replug debut in April of 2013 with a remix of ‘Introspection’ by Khen & Sonic Union. It was the beginning of a creative run for the Finnish artist which saw him develop his own unique style. A recent appearance on Praveen Achary’s Juicebox Music has highlighted another strong year, and his contribution to ‘Replugged’ Volume 2 caps it off wonderfully. Tommi’s penchant for both progressive and techno often melds together in his productions, and that’s certainly the case with ‘Euphrates’. Although techno at its core, the quirky melodic content adds mightily to the narrative, not the least of which is a cinematic break and sinister third act that hits just the right emotional chord.

The release concludes with Replug label boss Henri Hurtig, aka Cid Inc, returning following his ‘State of Everything’ EP from July of this year. It has been a sensational 2016 for the Finland-based artist, with chart topping releases on Sudbeat Music and Lost & Found. Now showcasing his first new original material since ‘State of Everything’, Henri presents his latest studio creation ‘Unstoppable Strain’. Beginning with Cid Inc’s trademark cadence, its tightly wound beats, fluid groove and ethereal overlays become undeniably hypnotic. As the emotional storyboard unfolds, stirring motifs add mightily to the groove, carrying it with ease into the break. Highlighted by textural drifts and clustered melodies, the track’s centrepiece spirals deep into your subconscious, before a calculated build and luminous peak bring both the track and collection to a blissful conclusion. Cid Inc has found a new emotional depth in his productions this year and this sits nicely alongside his most accomplished work to date. The perfect end to a ten track sound story which caps off an incredible year for Replug Records. Don’t miss it.

Beatport Pre-order: here

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  • Mitch Alexander
    Mitch Alexander

    WRITER @ C-U

    Mitch Alexander is the owner of microCastle | Beatport "One of the most influential, tastemaker labels out there and also part of our genre committee."