Since the ’90s Josh Wink has been teaching a masterclass in musical simplicity. He’s done so by keeping his productions minimal and focused with pinpoint accuracy.
On “Don’t Laugh” he stitched a sample of a delirious laugh into the fabric of a gurgling acid backdrop; “Higher State of Consciousness” (penned under his Winx moniker) was an intoxicating miss-mash of breakbeat, acid and techno; and “I’m Ready” (penned under his Size 9 alias) delivered one of the most memorable epic buildup/breakdown of all-time.
Tinged with acid and sporting a vocal sample oozing with Philly attitude, “Talking To You” strikes with the precision of a commando attack. Concentrating again on one great idea, the professor builds the tension into a rousing crescendo, presenting yet another lesson on why less-is-more works on the dance floor.
Globetrotting German mixmaster Ray Okpara, who helms AMA Recordings and has recorded and remixed tracks for Anja Schneider’s Mobilee Records, Nick Curly’s 8Bit and Get Physical, has outdone himself on his three-track Gipsy EP, a release which serves as his debut on Nic Fancuilli’s Saved Records.
The refreshingly inventive title track is founded on a wicked groove accented by jangly guitar chords that meander in and out of the mix. After building momentum, “Gipsy” unfolds into a boiling-hot houser that simmers on its own, thankfully without the use of a clichéd breakdown.
But there’s more! With its pitched-down vocal samples (“oh yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah!“) — is this a tip of the hat to Yello’s classic “Oh Yeah”? — Okpara takes “Atlixco” into a deeper, somewhat darker direction, while “Buster,” a sinewy vocal 4/4 number, wields a massive kick drum that takes no prisoners.
If you’re one who thinks outside the musical box on the dance floor, you’ve just discovered your next DJ hero.
Ray Okpara’s Gipsy EP is released September 1 on Saved Records.
In March we talked to Gavin and Robbie Hardkiss about the first anniversary of the passing of musical brother Scott Hardkiss (read the interview here) and restarting the Hardkiss label to release 1991, a wondrous, multi-genre dance album that was tracked before Scott’s untimely passing in 2013. Now comes a spate of remixes for “Flowers Blooming/Glow of Love” crafted by Mark E, Space Coast (Sleazy McQueen), Love Athletics and Gavin & Robbie Hardkiss. Borrowing from Change’s 1980 classic “Glow of Love,” the song in all of its remixed incarnations shines and has feel-good summertime vibes written all over it. We’d expect nothing less from the Hardkiss crew. Track of the moment!
“They used to laugh at me, but I saw the future. Record company recession, dance floor boredom, and copy machines spit out song after song.” So proclaimed Lil’ Louis on “New Dance Beat” back in 1992. Louis’ determination to push boundaries is shared by Italy’s Luca Bacchetti who subscribes to the same limit-testing musical ethos. His OVO EP on his Endless label cuts through the perennial glut of 4/4 schlock like a hot knife through mozzarella and lift us into the clouds on the opening track “No Gravity.” Slowly unfurling into sheer cinematic bliss on a production that defies categorization, Bacchetti is patient and never allows his proverbial pot to boil over. “The Space Between Us” is more uptempo yet equally as expansive and compelling, while the ambient title track washes over and lulls you into a state of exultation. Will someone please give this man a soundtrack to score right away?