Review: Kevin Di Serna & Ditian – Crystal Forest / Dallah

Review: Kevin Di Serna & Ditian Crystal Forest Dallah Lost & Found

4.5 Stars

Leading the charge in Argentina’s new guard, Ditian and Kevin Di Serna boast a string of individual successes and have recently put together their newest treasure for Guy J’s Lost & Found label. “Dallah” opens with soft beats laying the groundwork before it unfolds in a blissful chorus of pads, juxtaposing it with melancholy piano chords and smooth synth pulses. Add Kevin’s subdued but effective vocal work and tie everything together with engaging percussive patterns and you’ve got a masterpiece of breathtaking beauty. “Crystal Forest” is more grounded with a deeper bottom, but it also has an airy and inspiring aura. A hypnotic groover laced with melodic goodness, this taste of euphoria gets my pick of the pair. This is the perfect union of intelligence and emotion with rich textures, full sounds, and an almost tangible tugging at the soul. For these two rising stars, this double dose of deeply uplifting progressive power is set to launch into the stratosphere.

Guy J Talks US Dates, New LP and Argentina

Guy-J

Tel Aviv-based DJ/producer Guy J, who is known for his spate of releases on John Digweed’s Bedrock label and helming the Lost & Found imprint, is heading across the Atlantic this week to play a trio of DJ dates in Washington, DC, Philadelphia and Montreal.

“It’s going to be the second time for me [DJing] in Philadelphia and Washington, DC,” he shares via e-mail from the road. “The [dates] I have [played in the past were] great — good crowds and good clubs so I’m looking forward to play[ing] there again and get[ting] to meet more people.”

Montreal is a bit of a different story for him. “I’ve played some of my longest sets there and I love it! Stereo is one of the best clubs in the world for me and the AIM Festival is a new experience that I’m really happy to be part of.”

In July the Israeli mixmaster will embark on a  tour of South America. The run includes four dates in Argentina. How did Guy become so popular in that country?

“The feeling you get in clubs is much more intimate and you feel connected with the people — even if it’s two or three thousand people in a club it’s still connected. The festival experience gives a new dimension to your music, but clubs are the real deal.”

“The Argentinians are very, very passionate people,” he estimates. “I think the most passionate in the world from what I know and my music has a lot of emotions and that’s something that connects with the people I think. I get a lot of messages from Argentinian fans about how the music affects their life and is part of their life.”

Although Guy is booked to play Paul van Dyk’s We Are One Festival in Berlin and the Extrema Festival in Holland, his current itinerary is focused on clubs. He says playing for mass crowds is fun but nothing beat commanding a dance floor at a club.

“The feeling you get in clubs is much more intimate and you feel connected with the people — even if it’s two or three thousand people in a club it’s still connected. The festival experience gives a new dimension to your music, but clubs are the real deal.”

As he jets around the world this summer, Guy’s other priority is finalizing his next artist album. Though he won’t say if the full-length will include any guests, he confirms “it is all original music by me for now.”

With this month seeing Lost & Found issue Roger Martinez’s “Downriver” / “Trans” on June 29, the label also has a remix package of Guy Mantzur & Sahar Z’s incredible Time album, the return of Brooklyn producer Brian Cid to the fold and what Guy describes as “a beautiful track by Bluesoul and many more things” on the horizon.

“I want all the tracks to be out there for people to hear,” he concludes, “because I know Lost & Found is going to give real music to the industry.”

Guy J plays Flash in Washington, DC on June 25, Hacienda Lounge in Philadelphia on June 26 and AIM Montreal Music Festival on June 27. His five-date South American tour begins at La Feria in Santiago, Chile on July 15.

Compilation Review: ‘Balance Presents Guy J’ (Balance)

Balance-Presents-Guy-J

★★★★☆

Guy J’s latest endeavor, Balance Presents Guy J, is a collection of appeasing compositions that peacefully ebb and tide their way to a harmonious symphony of contentment. While still maintaining a serene resonance, the lead-in track “No One Gets Left Behind” inflects the undertone eeriness and key plunking of Nine Inch Nails on a calmer day. “Santa Fe” conjures up a vibe of South Beach during Ultra Music Week when day three or four of insomnia is rearing its head: You saunter down to poolside at close to 1pm for breakfast and that first cup of coffee. Your eyes are shaded from the glaring tropical sunlight, your hand over your brow masking the fuming heat of midday. All the while there’s this cool ambiance flowing from the poolside speakers to calm the soul and radiate positive energy and the day is unfolding as it should.

The tracks are minimalistic yet opulent and a few are reminiscent of the pleasing Egbert “Open” from 2010. The jazz and funk infused “Waitin” is hinting at drum n bass similar to that of Brazil’s DJ Marky. “Once Upon A Time” might be a candidate for Above & Beyond’s Anjunadeep meets old school The Shamen “Boss Drum” with a slightly slower tempo. Indecipherable, subtle chanting on tracks like “Migrants” and “Fever” add a distinct, surreal element and the latter track gains a nice pickup funk about two thirds of the way through for a unique flare. Considering its soothing vibe, Guy J’s remix of Way Out West’s “Killa” is a bit of a misnomer.

As a whole what encompasses the essence of this latest effort from Guy J is warming and inspiring. The listener will find after unknowingly letting Balance Presents Guy J flow on repeat, it is both uplifting and therapeutic and leaves the listener with a new sense of rejuvenation like that from a nice hot tub soak or a good massage.

File under: John Digweed, Chaim, Guy Gerber