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Single Of The Week Single Reviews

King Unique – Some Break The Shell (Remixes)

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King UniqueLabel: MicroCastle
Score: 8.5/10

Just every now and then a package lands that is so very on-point that you can’t do anything but sit up and take note. The King Unique juggernaut is rolling through the fast lane of electronic music once again (see Guy J’s remixes of Candyland and Ray Unico) and thank the stars for that. However, the Break the Shell remixes are unusual in the way that the remixers are so exceptionally well chosen they almost eclipse the original release with a variety of uber current sounds that ooze quality, variety and talent in a quantity we don’t often see. Man of the moment, and ex-Kosheen member, Dubspeeka, has hit on a formula that works so well it has given him a trademark sound in just a few releases (admittedly quite a few remixes too). Clean and simple techno with carefully thought out pads and textures that are surprisingly accessible, seemingly simple but deceptive in their production values and arrangement. Dubspeeka’s take on ‘7 Hours’ (featuring Natalie Arnold’s lovely vocal) is a solid groove of 909 kick and percussion, a simple repetitive bassline and vocal snippets arranged in a clever melodic way. CS80 sounding lush pads and ambient sounds lift the whole track from a chunky techno workout to something with more emotion, even filmic, the sound of an alien invasion or a look into deep space. A wonderful remix that will be at home rocking the lid of DC-10 or your headphones on the bus.

It’s not clear if the ‘No Makeup’ mix is a King Unique rework but it’s a refreshing change to hear a stripped down version, that does justice to the vocal with a simple drum-set, acoustic guitars and stunning keyboard work. This is four minutes of bliss, the perfect soundtrack to a summer sunset or a train ride through the mountains.

Turning the rolling techno knob to 11, Jamie Stevens (a member of the wonderful Infusion – check their remix of Jase From Outta Space and album Six Feet Above Yesterday) turns in a complete romper of a track showing his pedigree and proving his experience to get the balance of club friendliness and sheer quality. This is big bass-drum, classic percussion, messed up analogue, distorted feedback and a huge teasing breakdown business from one of the industry’s most reliable producers.

Born Electric artist Pedram does a great job in highlighting the vocal and melody to a dramatic backdrop of heavy bass and crisp percussion, keeping the lush pads and building the arrangement to fairly epic proportions. Funky and driving with a slowly building arrangement and big drop Pedram’s mix is your big room weapon, a needed interpretation on this varied package and marking another production that makes him an artist to watch.

Petrels goes all out in an epic 12 minute take on ‘Without Boxes’, lapping water and pads, analogue skullduggery and soaring strings take you on a fabulous journey as if hitching a lift through the galaxy and back to earth to have the water lapping at your toes and the birds chirruping in your ear. If nothing else Petrels is balls to the wall in this sonic wall of ambient sound, and again so nice to see a variation of styles and genres in a remix package (isn’t that what a remix package should do after all?).

A release jam packed full of talent, experience and amazing music. It would perhaps have been nice to see King Unique rework one of his own tracks but, perhaps, that isn’t really in the spirit of a remix package. However, this is still a benchmark release from MicroCastle.

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