S20 | Phase 07 Tonight Remixes – Various Artists [Soma Records]

Here comes the next of the re-issue projects from long-running Scots imprint Soma, this time with ‘Tonight’ – taken from H-Foundation’s 2002 debut album Environments– the starting point.  It’s a brave one, too, given how successful the first remix of the record (King Britt’s Sexy Mix) was back in 2003 and, to that end, it’s no real surprise only two of the five offerings really excel here.

But they really do excel, in particular the Wolf + Lamb version (which you will have already heard if you caught the excellent Wolf + Lamb vs Soul Clap DJ Kicks mix from a few months ago).   Staring with a thin synth line, suggestive throbs and beats come in intermittently before a deep, freeform groove proper gets going. A tidy call and response bassline pulls you forward whilst the percussion limbers up in the background, variously being overlaid by the steamy female vocal call which sends the whole thing into freefall.  A nicely reserved re-rub, it’s perfectly indicative of both current trends and Wolf + Lamb’s uncanny knack for crafting warm and late night vibes like few others.


The next best offering is from Frenchman Shonky – an obvious fan of old school vibes, his take is busier and more euphoric: scattered hats and bells make for a dynamic, surging track that recalls Detroit as much as the trippy grooves of his Freak n Chic offerings and there’s a light-headedness to the whole thing which really appeals.  Elsewhere, Sneak does what he does best, re-constructing things on a jacking house beat structure that has no other intention than to get you, and keep you, dancing in amongst its endlessly tech-y cycles. Gene Harris serves up two different takes – the first is all chopped up with a brisk and restless energy that permeates the whole track and leaves it with a dry, digitalised edge before the dub mix does – well, pretty much exactly the same.  No matter, though, for the Wolf + Lamb remix alone is enough to introduce this track to a whole new world of fans…


Kristan J Caryl for AUTOBRENNT