Off the back of turning heads with their three-track ‘Hollow Mask Illusion’ EP and their recent reimagination of The Alan Parsons Project’s ‘Sirius’, Armin van Buuren and AVIRA link up with none other than Ibiza Trance legend Chicane to reimagine one of his most revered classics. Retaining the Balearic essence of the 1996 original, this equally timeless interpretation of ‘Offshore’ pays tribute to the legacy of the genre whilst illustrating to perfection that its future has never been brighter.
The Meant label really is on a fine run in 2015, and now offers up its 3rd release of the year. This one is a brilliant, club ready package from Rework and features excellent original material alongside carefully A&Red remixes from BALD and ClickBox.
Rework is a German collaborative project between Daniel Varga, Michael Kuebler and Sascha Hedgehog. As well as having ties to this label, they have released on Items & Things, Visionquest and Playhouse, and high profile fans include Seth Troxler. The creative trio has been doing this more than 15 years now, and as such is as good at making essential 12”s as it is full length albums.
Opener ‘Too Forward’ is a freaky bit of slow motion electronic house. Vast kicks form the marching beat as trippy vocals repeat the title’s refrain until it loses all form. Around it, sparking electronics and phased synth lines make for a fine cacophony that will undoubtedly freak out ‘floors.
The devilishly dark and alluring ‘Overdosed’ is a more up tempo track with shadowy post punk energy. No wave synths gurgle and tinny chords light up the centre as a disaffected vocal mutters about overdosing over the top. It’s another perfectly freaky track. Last offering ‘Candy And Korg’ is a wiggling, synthetic house track cut from the Gemini mould. It’s bubbly, rich and subtly groovy and is the sort of thing you’d hear in a Craig Richards set.
Magda favourites ClickBox then remix this one into a sparse but elastic affair with dry hi hats the main hook of a perfectly reduced minimal track. Finally, buy the EP digitally and you will also get a brilliant BALD remix of ‘Too Forward’ that is all tough synths, alien arps and reverb rich vocal ad libs.
Once again here Meant and Rework have cooked up a perfect dance floor storm.
Following on from their second release by Russian producer and DJ, Tripmastaz, YAKAZI Records, the fledgling Barcelona based label drops another blistering EP, this time saturated in acidic 303 lines and crisp 808 percussion by German trio, Daniel Varga, Michael Kuebler, and Sascha Hedgehog, aka REWORK.
Having released on Visionquest, Playhouse, Items&Things, Meant, Loveyeah and more, the group continue to reinvent their fresh and funky reimaginings of new wave disco and delve further into sonic explorations.
Formed in 2000, REWORK released their first EP ‘Anyway I Know You’ on Playhouse Records. Several years later, Sascha Hedgehog formerly of French Beat-Punk band Les Quitriche, joined the team. Not long after, their first album ‘Fall Right Now’ followed and club hits including ‘You’re So Just Just’ and ‘Love Love Love Yeah’ helped pave the way for them further. Their second LP ‘Pleasure Is Pretty’ was released in 2007 and remix projects with Alter Ego, Chloe, Magda, Losoul, Jackmate, Trentemoller and others followed.
Their musical aesthetic has changed over the years from, in their own words, ‘cabaret-independent-house,’ to forging a distinct sound that combines icy minimal structures with catchy euro-girl vocals, Anglo-French funk antics and a dash of dancefloor melancholy.
With ‘Acid Control’, the trio see themselves in even darker territory than before, making things much more intense.
The release is topped off with an Aphex-esque remix from Venezuelan duo Sergio Muñoz and Israel Sunshine aka Fur Coat, which pairs deep, dark driving beats and a rolling groove that will capture both the mind and the soul. Unearthed by Crosstown Rebels boss, Damian Lazarus, in 2010, they were promptly signed up for their debut EP however it wasn’t until they released ‘You and I’ that put the name Fur Coat on the tongue of weekend warriors across the universe. Throughout the past few years they have provided remixes for labels such as Culprit, Get Physical and My Favourite Robot, and played at some of the finest venues across the world including Warehouse Project (Manchester), DC-10 (Ibiza), Day Zero (Mexico), Verboten (New York) plus many more.
French duo Monoblok&PSLKTR return to the Meant label with a superb new EP of emotive, vocal lead electronica replete with remixes from Rework, Arnaud Rebotini and My Favorite Robot.
Yann Aubertot and Benoit Mascot aka Monoblok&PSLKTR have been releasing oustanding left of centre, electro fuelled music for the past 5 years, racking up singles on imprints such as Notorious Elektro and Lebensfreude Records before finding a home with Remain’s Meant Records. Their music is a seamless fusion of rolling electronic grooves melded with their own indie-rock influences and twisted vocal offerings and this latest package is another perfect example of their eclectic musical style.
The EP opens with title track ‘Relapse’, a bouncing and dark edged slice of hypnotic indie electronica. Rubbery live bass and atmospheric guitar licks play against off-kilter synth lines and an insistent drum pattern to create an ethereal soundbed for the duo’s nuwave, gothic vocals. The original is followed with a remix from German production outfit and label mates Rework who stripped things back, delivering a spacious reinterpretation that eschews the live elements in favour of a more minimal approach.
The second of the two original cuts sees Monoblok&PSLKTR drop the tempo and turn up the electro funk for the excellent ‘Walking Disaster’. The original version focuses on old school arp lines, dark sweeps and haunting vocals whilst Black Strobe man Arnaud Rebotini provides a remix which boosts the intensity with metallic hits, swirling FX and a reverb drenched sound.
Finally Canadian three piece My Favorite Robot get to grips with ‘Relapse’ turning in a reworking that brings the tracks cinematic flair to the fore, wrapping the darkly illuminating guitars around stuttering beats and claustrophobic delays, mesmerising stuff.
Meant Records have delivered once again, with an EP that beautifully blurs the lines between indie and electronic music. Release date: 12-01-2015.