Hive Audio is simply a great label. 100 releases and 10 years in, now that is quite an achievement. With frequent outings from Soame and label owners Animal Trainer & Dario D’Attis it’s unsurprising that the label’s sound is deep and vibey, powerful and interesting. Animal Trainer and Dario have been saving up a drop of the good stuff for this landmark release and are now popping the cork to shower it into the dance music community.
There are four tracks on offfer here, two from Animal Trainer, one from Dario and another from Definition. Confusingly they are all called Memories to conceptualise and remember the good times building the Hive roster and sound. The same brilliant lyric is used across two of the tracks but the instrumentation is completely different from each producer. What they have actually done is release a confusing selection of great music.
Animal Trainer‘s techy, chunky house sound has always been a real favourite, taking a more innovative approach to tech-house that feeds through to the dancefoor without crossing into the vanilla side of tech. Animal Trainer‘s ‘Memories’ is a fairly slow, plutonium heavy groove with a vocal “What more can I say, I’m leavin’ in the dark” well placed in the mix. The break is lush with its full pads, but this track is all about the groove. It’s a mid-set to peak transition, a kind of subterfuge banger.
Animal Trainer‘s version was a monster groove but Dario turns in a ten minute slow-burner with the density of a neutron star. What’s more, once you look through the clever, yet subtle melodies, grooving bass and shuffly percussion and tune into the full vocal, Dario‘s version grabs you by the shoulders and shakes you into submission, then soothes you with an embrace and a gentle whisper. You can hear the sweat dripping onto the dancefloor transporting you to a distant Twilo-esque place. Simple, effective and enormous.
Definition‘s version is a melodic, vibey house cut, again taking a fresh approach to tech-house with a solid, deep-bass yet fairly commercial sounding track. It has a different vocal, lush pads and a defining synth melody.
A fabulous, if rather confusing, release from Hive Audio. It’s a toss up between the two versions from Dario D’Attis and Animal Trainer but Dario’s slow-burn, vocal ulysses is the winner.