Heaven Scent (Eagles & Butterflies Remix)
Digging up the classics might be predictable, though the 20th anniversary of Bedrock means a rework of its debut 12-inch ‘Heaven Scent’ (aka “BED1”) is suitably earned. The original’s timeless enigma just can’t be beaten, though it’s as if Eagles & Butterflies was well aware of this, eschewing ambition for a more workmanlike approach and a remix that's undeniably primed for modern dancefloors (for better or worse; the latter if you’re a progressive purist). The trance is dialled down in favour of functional house rhythms, its tension built with a classic kick-and-snare drum break, before that unforgettable riff is finally unveiled. Also check out Marc Romboy’s 10-minute rework for a rather more extravagant take on things.
The second appearance from Anjunadeep alumni Luttrell this month, ‘After All’ is the opener from his recently-arrived debut LP, and it’s proved a fast riser in the Beatport charts. Opening on organ tones and soft choral chants that are both positively heavenly, Luttrell builds on this seductive ambience with rich, layered percussion, plus a thick assortment of harmonies that spans the spectrum from haunting synth shimmers right up to the exhilarating climax. Luttrell is on a roll.
Argentina’s Emi Galvan delivers one of those records that captures the deep, hypnotic roll of progressive house in all its glory. ‘Alfa Zeta’ opens on foreboding chords that build into a thick, shaker-led percussive groove, offering it that sumptuous Latin American feel. It’s carefully crafted around the hypnotic, modulating bassline that’s eventually introduced by Galvan, flanked by atmospheric pads and a melody that unfolds gradually to complement its pulsing, proggy vibe.
'Alter Ego EP'
Sobota goes all out here with a three-track EP of unabashed progressive bombast, all delivered with his characteristic, lavish attention to sonic detail, plus a canny balance of deep basslines and shimmering melody. All three offerings are textured heavily with atmospheric pads and reverb aplenty, to grant them that proper epic feel. Lead track ‘Alter Ego’ is the standout, that flips its heavy percussion over a synth bass throb that's peppered with dramatic stabs.
A selection from the upcoming ‘Fate’ album from Rodg that’s due to drop shortly on Statement!, ‘Coaster’ is aptly named — a rollicking slice of progressive trance that’s earned swift support from Armin van Buuren as the exact type of record he’d reach for when DJing in deeper mode. Its driving energy sets the perfect backdrop for a striking melodic riff assembled from punchy synth stabs.
'Epoch (Luttrell Remix)'
The sweeping sounds of Tycho and the lush house of Luttrell are a match made in heaven. The San-Fran act offers plenty to work with via the epic title track from his 2016 ‘Epoch’ album, its glorious synth melancholy ebbing and flowing in a fashion that feels wholly organic and psychedelic. Luttrell takes this wonderful framework and weaves in a percussion-heavy house groove, before unleashing a tremendous, flat burst of analogue bass after the break.
Kamilo Sanclemente & Juan Pablo Torrez
The quality is coming thick and fast from Paul Thomas’ excellent FSOE UV imprint at the moment, though this storming EP from South American duo Sanclemente & Torrez is a standout, with three explosive offerings of peak-time progressive. Title track ‘Plannar’ draws on polyrhythmic arpeggios and massive amounts of reverb to channel its exhilarating energy, while the rest of the EP is similarly grandiose and deep in equal measure. Powerhouse material.
'To The Ground'
The young French producer switches back into progressive mode with a track that has genuinely connected with DJs from across the spectrum. Fax channels a rich soundscape that makes for a gritty, evocative backdrop to the blast of icy side-chained melody that launches after an early break, delicately embellished with some gorgeous harmonic touches. Deep and melodic, there’s some fine craftsmanship in ‘To the Ground’ that has justifiably made its mark.