New York raised Abe Duque is cut cleanly off the old school. Producing since the late 80's he recorded under monikers such as Fantastico, Kirlian, Super Secret Symphony and Tension Posse. He is also a DJ, promoter, label owner of Abe Duque and Rancho Relaxo records and recently founded the Rapture label with John Selway.
As a DJ he held a residency at The Limelight club New York in the 90's and his work has featured on labels such as Tresor and V2, remixing The Chemical Brothers, Pet Shop Boys and Miss Kittin along the way. Ironically, though accomplishing all this the 41 year old has spent the last 2 decades drifting in and out of a career in electronic music and supplemented the living he made from EDM as a carpenter.
Duque is one of those producers who ignored the rule of age and ruthlessly stuck at it until he broke. The first scent of that revival came with a 2nd album "So Underground it Hurts" released in 2005 on Gigolo it contained "Acid" and the mega hit with Blake Baxter that ended up selling over 25,000 copies on vinyl "What Happened?", Systematic label head Marc Romboy then went onto remix this in 2009. The elusive break-through he had searched for finally came with a 3rd album released in 2009 "Don't Be So Mean." The title was a message to the US government over its foreign policy with Iraq but, its content of acid and darkly stripped tribal techno sounds struck a chord with the scene and garnered remixes from DJ Hell, Oliver Huntemann and Joey Beltram.
"Hypocrisy" his latest EP features remixes from Nick Muir and John Digweed and sticks to big room territory. It's almost a shame because after "Acid" and "What Happened" this track gets it right but also gets it wrong. Ok, so the production is clean, the sound is superbly pristine, the harmony is partially infectious and what you would expect from a producer with 20+ years experience but, make no mistake all that formulaic tribal/snare drumming and killer synth sounds make it 100% big room. Out of the 3 mixes Muir and Digweed's stand out. The volume is dropped and a loop of the main part of the track acts as the primary part of the remix. It also feels a lot cleaner in sound to the main mix. A killer drop inserted, some warping mind bending sounds flitter across the track and then bam, hey presto, the killer formula hits once again. All that said it's still the best mix on the EP. For big room DJs and those who love their chunky Digweed style tracks "Hypocrisy" is definitely a bomb but for those who are looking for Intelligent Dance Music. Keep searching.
|Artist: Abe Duque
Label: Process Recordings
Our Rating: 6,5/10