Escape (Driving To Heaven) is one of those tracks you’ll possibly have forgotten about over the years, but it’ll stir up a few breathless memories when you hear it again. Originally released by the legendary, but now defunct Hooj Choons back in 2001, during the glory days of progressive house, it’s now been unearthed by its producer Omid 16B, a one-time member of the SOS collective, who has put together an extended remix package as part of the 20th anniversary of his Alola Records label.
One of the more restrained anthems of the era, and grounded more in straight-up house than much of the deep, chuggy, tribal progressive that was popular at the time, there’re a certain ethereal sense to the melodic elements that really haunts and resonates. Even more haunting though are Richard Morel’s spine-tingling vocals; they add a formidable texture to the record, and work like a dream in the breakdown. It’s one of those sleeper hits that still hits the spot.
They’ve gone all out here to leverage the classic charms of Escape, and there’s so many remixes here that it had to be split into two separate packages. It’s understandable they wanted to provide a different remix for a number of contexts, but reworks from the likes of Betoko and Mindskrap can definitely be filed under ‘functional’ and ‘predictable’. Not to mention Spin Science, who turns in a stock-standard Disclosure-style remix with a big garage bassline.
That said, there’s several remixes that unquestionably smash it out of the park, and they’re definitely worth the price of admission. Omid 16B drafts Arnas D for a bit of help in reworking his own classic, and their remix will appeal to those wishing for the original’s charms to remain largely untouched. Escape is buffed and polished here for the modern dancefloor.
Meanwhile, Guy J unsurprisingly manages to inject his own unmistakable sense of class into his rework. He opens on the stunning synth melody that haunts the breakdown of the original, pulling the tempo right back for a quite subdued, though beautifully constructed mix of melody and deepness that would have been right at home on his recent Balance mix.
The other standout comes from Argentinian Kevin Di Serna, who unexpectedlydelivers an absolute bomb of a progressive house monster, that’s basically been perfectly tailored for DJs like Hernan Cattaneo or Nick Warren to weak destruction with in the peak of their set.
Omid 16 B’s breakbeat driven ‘album mix’ of Escape is also well worth a look. Though a more focused approach would have been welcome, the classier remixes here means it’s definitely worthwhile dusting off this particular classic.
|Artist: Omid 16B
Title: Escape (Driving To Heaven) Remixes Part 1 & 2 EPs
Tracklist01. Escape (Driving To Heaven) - Omid 16B & Arnas D Remix02. Escape (Driving To Heaven) - Guy J Remix 03. Escape (Driving To Heaven) - Betoko Remix04. Escape (Driving To Heaven) - MindSkap Remix05. Escape (Driving To Heaven) - Kevin Di Serna Remix06. Escape (Driving To Heaven) - Alex George Remix07. Escape (Driving To Heaven) - Spin Science Vocal Remix08. Escape (Driving To Heaven) - Maher Daniel Remix09. Escape (Driving To Heaven) - Omid 16B & Arnas D Instrumental Dub Remix 10. Escape (Driving To Heaven) - Silky & Jonny Cruz Remix11. Escape (Driving To Heaven) - Spin Science Dub Remix12. Escape (Driving To Heaven) - Album Version
Our rating: 7/10