Ziger feat. Stephano Prunebelli – Shadows (Lowbit)

Greek producer Ziger‘s partnership with vocalist Stephano Prunebelli has been bearing fruit ever since the excellent ‘Still Here‘ on 99percent back in 2012, which they have followed up with appearances on Baroque Limited and Luke Porter’s Temporum label. ‘Shadows’ is the pair’s debut on Lowbit, and they’re ably supported by remixes from label-veterans BlusoulHugo Ibarra and Uvo, and Tommi Oskari.

Ziger’s original version of ‘Shadows’ doesn’t waste any time, with a disco-tinged rolling bassline immediately pushing the track forward. Building gradually with cool effects and percussion, Ziger starts to layer on the atmosphere during the brief breakdown a minute and a half in, floating gentle sweeps over an intensifying bass, with cleverly arranged clips of Stephano Prunebelli’s vocals adding further texture and atmosphere. This is a really nice, well-constructed track that’s got enough melody and moodiness to satisfy those who like that sort of thing (me included), and enough drive to work the dancefloor.

The standouts for me here are the two versions from another talented Greek producer, Blusoul. First up we have his ‘Earthly’ mix. This features similar elements to Ziger’s original, but there’s just a bit more of an edge to the sound, helped by squelching bass tones and cool filter work. There’s not much to the remix, really – Blusoul keeps things quite simple and uncluttered – but there’s just a terrific energy and buzz to the whole thing which makes it utterly irresistible. Great work from Blusoul.

His ‘Ethereal’ mix is more restrained, and utilizes the original’s vocal more. Twin gently pulsing basslines set the tone, while spacious pads and dubby stabs provide the topping. A brief breakdown lets the vocal come through a little more, and when the track reengages we’re treated to further layers of gorgeous melodies, which sound fantastic drifting over the hypnotic bass parts. I’m not going to bother trying to pick a favourite between this and the ‘Earthly’ version; both are fantastic.

Mexico’s Hugo Ibarra and Uvo are riding high at the moment, and they’ve already turned in one outstanding remix for Lowbit this year, on Che Armstrong and Chris Johnson’s ‘Gegenshein’. This is another great bit of work from the duo. The centrepiece is the huge, bubbling bassline that hits after the short intro, over which Hugo Ibarra and Uvo float sparkling melodies, sweeping pads and plenty of handclaps. The breakdown plays with the vocal, before washes of melody make their reappearance as the track picks back up. Warm and melodic, this is delightful stuff.

Finnish producer Tommi Oskari is definitely becoming one to watch, having turned in one of the highlights of Lowbit’s output last year with ‘Rascacielo’, and with great new material forthcoming on Juicebox and CHANGE. His version of ‘Shadows’ sticks fairly close to Ziger’s original, though with a subtler bassline that really hooks the listener in. The breakdown focuses on the vocal, before letting the bassline really stand out as the track builds steam again. This is a nicely understated version of the track, that will work really well as a mood-setter.

All five versions are really strong here, though I’m inclined to make a small complaint I’ve had with Lowbit releases in the past, namely that most of the mixes on the package compete fairly directly with each other, rather than exploring the track from different musical angles. That said, the quality on display is very high indeed, and the two Blusoul versions still manage to distinguish themselves even in such company. This is another great release from Ziger and Lowbit. 8.5/10


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