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Various Artists – Untold Stories Volume II (Juicebox Music)

The latest release on Praveen Achary’s Juicebox Music finds the label showcasing the second instalment of it’s ‘Untold Stories’ series.

Various Artists - Untold Stories Volume II (Juicebox Music)

For those unfamiliar with the series, it’s a collection of new interpretations of past releases from the labels catalog. The first edition came in October of 2014 and welcomed 4 new artists to the label. Now almost 18 months later Juicebox revisits the concept with Aman Anand, JimiJ, Subandrio & Nishan Lee and Nicolas Petracca.

The first selection on the EP welcomes Aman Anand to the label for his first appearance. Splitting time between both India and Singapore, Aman has an impressive discography highlighted by releases on Sudbeat, Genesis, Soundteller Records and Spaghetti Monster. Here he takes one of the labels most famed releases, ‘Depth Of Emotion’ by Blusoul into deep and enchanting territory. The original was a pure progressive house track but Aman manages to craft a dubby late night rework that still retains some of it’s great elements, albeit in a much subtler way. It’s deep, chugging foundation is immediately appealing, well textured with a great sense of space and the atmospheric storyboards he’s created are dead gorgeous. This is backroom heaven and surely one of AMAN’s most polished works to date.

Next up JimiJ makes his label debut reworking Tommi Oskari’s ‘Mind Tingle’. James Smith aka JimiJ hails from Perth, Australia and owns a discography with releases on Perspectives Digital, Colorize and Electronic Elements. Once known for his Pryda-esque, progressive style the Aussie has been exploring deeper territory of late which rings true on his ‘Mind Tingle’ interpretation. Lead by a set of very familiar, wonky tones and a deep, chunky groove it begins on its subversive journey. There’s a cross-cultural motif which adds nicely to the overall vibe of the track while a hopeful pad brings a lovely emotion to the main break. It’s a radical departure from the original which works remarkably well and a definite shift in style for the Aussie which he’s pulled off wonderfully. Great reinvention from Jimij. 

Next up Subandrio returns to Juicebox while Nishan Lee makes his label debut as they collaboratively tackle Tommi Oskari’s ‘Sri Lanka’. Only appropriate I suppose as both artists do in fact hail from Sri Lanka. Subandrio has fast become one of the underground’s brightest stars. His pure progressive sound has been showcased on some of the best imprints around, most notably Perspectives Digital, Replug and J00F while Nishan is making his debut here but has worked with Subandrio in the past on a gorgeous bootleg interpretation of Guy J’s ‘Easy As Can Be’ which you can hear on his soundcloud. They certainly make a great team as their interpretation of ‘Sri Lanka’ has turned out wonderfully. The warm, full grooves that both artists bring to the production is a joy to listen to. It’s rolling bass and hypnotic qualities meld perfectly with elements from the lead that get teased in for that extra epic flair; and smooth, exhilarating build out of the main break doesn’t hurt either. Should be massive on the dance floor and definitely something that would sound right at home in a Hernan Cattaneo set. Great remix from Subandrio and Nishan. 

The release concludes with Nicolas Petracca making his label debut following great remixes for Clubsonica Records and Yang. Hailing from Argentina, Nicolas has been one of his country’s brightest progressive house talents. His melodic style has been compared to the pixie vibes of James Holden and Luke Chable circa 2004 and he also boasts releases on Dopamine Music and Movement Recordings. Here he reworks Tanseer’s ‘Both Sides’ which was the label’s fourth release in September of 2013. The amazing thing about Nicolas is how heavily layered his productions are which is generally a recipe for trouble on the dance floor but this translates quite well. There’s an amazing sense of space with a meaty kick and heavy, subterranean sounding groove sitting at the foundation. A bevy of unique and somewhat aquatic percussive elements add a wonderful vibrancy to the framework, before a well timed break steals the show and closes the release out with a great vibe. Massive remix from Nicolas who seems to improve with each successive outing.

There’s something special about all the versions on the release but if I had to pick a favourite I’d go with Aman’s deep and dubby rendition of Blusoul. It’s simple, trippy and definitely great for the dancefloor.


What do you think?

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