The original version of “Alone” from the Italian trio of collaborators – Dirty Channels (the duo) and Bugsy – isn’t all that special. A bit of M A N I K light with a side serving of No. 19 to give it some zing, we’ve all heard it before many, many times. The real story is the interplay of remixes – starting with Seattle producer Pezzner’s remix, label boss Josh Wink’s rework of that mix as both dub and vocal, and finally Pezzner’s remix of Wink’s remix. It all sounds convoluted but in reality, outside of the original, these are strong dance floor contenders and few will be so wrapped up in the complicated back story surrounding the various mixes to miss out on the hypnotic grooves, especially on Wink’s dub mix.
The original is nothing special, standard fare nu-disco with few twists, turns, or surprises. These tracks are everywhere with almost no label seems to be able to distinguish the good from the bad and in a vain ploy to be “down with the scene” seem to sign countless tracks without any quality control involved in the process, “Alone” being part of a long line of A+R follies not limited to just Ovum. But in some ways the original seems to be forgotten once the rest of the EP unfolds and two very talented producers – Wink and Pezzner – present a form of remix interplay on the four separate mixes that form the bulk of this record.
Wink’s dub remix of Pezzner’s remix is a beautiful shambling mess of late night house that seems fragile and slapped together while also evoking a spirit of airtight assuredness that adds a weird non-musical tension to the track that is quite unusual and also captivating in the same way a fiery wreck at the race track is to bloodthirsty spectators. Some of this mix is derivative of Agoria, but not in such an obvious way to draw the ire of house heads, just gentle, deep, and melodic in all the ways great 21st Century house music should be. Wink adds in Amina’s vocals on the Vox Mix, one of the few places on the record she gets credit and her presence is immediately front and center. It’s a nice touch and adds the missing elements absent from the Dub Version for a full, rounded track that hits in all the proper spots.
Pezzner’s original remix is a moody dance floor beast with a powerful bass line, hypnotic pads, and a deep, shuffling rhythm. Pezzner also makes the wise decision to include Amina’s vocals, which are a sensuous and soulful addition to the remix and the EP as a whole. The remix, however, is listless in comparison to Wink’s pair of re-investigations and doesn’t achieve the same high scores from the judges either.
To close out the EP, Pezzner remixes Wink’s remix of his remix for a beautiful combo of the best elements of both Pezzner’s original and Wink’s dub version for something different that works quite well in the context of the entire package. While it would have been nice to hear Amina’s vocals one last time rather than a second dub, the collision of primary elements from two distinct remixes in to one new remix is worked to perfection here.
|Artist: Dirty Channels & Bugsy feat. Amina
Title: Amina EP
Label: Ovum Recordings
TracklistAlone feat. Amina - Original MixAlone feat. Amina - Pezzner Mix - Josh Wink Re-Think DubAlone feat. Amina - Pezzner MixAlone feat. Amina - Pezzner Mix - Josh Wink Re-Think VoxAlone feat. Amina - Pezzner Mix - Josh Wink Re-Think Dub - Pezzner Dub
Our Rating: 7.5/10