Digweed & Muir // Raise EP [Bedrock]
John Digweed and Nick Muir have been hugely influential in British club music for more than a generation now, and the build up to the imminent release of Bedrock 14 continues with this new original track, alongside two remixes from Electric Rescue.
The original is exactly the kind of straight down-the-line dark progressive house that I’d hoped that these two would deliver with this track, after the more experimental ‘Trezzz’, their recent release with Guy J. It builds nicely from the bottom with just some percussion, a kick drum and an electric pulse, with some nice arpeggios soon arriving overhead – the pulse distorts as a single note becomes more and more insistent, the tension building very nicely in the process. Then, two minutes in, we are hit with the main synth melody, which is reminiscent of Nick Muir’s own ‘I Feel Real’, a funky progressive house monster from 2006. The sense of urgency is very quickly re-established when the beats arrive, and less than 90 seconds after the arrival of the the synth, we virtually hit a stand still again as we head into the main breakdown – the single note and that electric pulse again do the ground work here, as swarms of electric insects dive and swoop ominously, and a slow hand clap builds in the background, impatiently urging the beats to return. When it does happen the track is finally in full flow, before making what is a very nice, polite exit. This is good stuff, and it’s hard to imagine fans of their previous material being disappointed with this.
Rising French star Antoine Husson, AKA Electric Rescue has had his profile raised considerably with recent releases on Bedrock, so it’s no surprise to see him involved here. The Blue remix has very nice congas and very heavy bass to start us off, and immediately announces itself as much darker and dirtier than the original, coming across very grungy indeed. By the time some break beats arrive things are starting to sound a bit cluttered and confused, though the brilliantly distorted synth melody from the original does sound fantastic when it is deployed early on – the break beats are then put to much better use to build momentum here, but sadly the track loses its way again shortly after, and doesn’t really get it going again, bar the brief return of that melody.
If the first remix is grungy, then the Purple remix is all machine, with the dark robotic transformation akin to the bit in Superman 3 when Robert Vaughn’s sister is sucked into the giant computer and given an unwanted evil machine makeover – though I may add that this track isn’t quite that scary. It has a shuddering kick drum that knocks everything around it clean out, and the whole track has a real metallic edge to it – overall it’s a bit too harsh for me, but serious machine-heads will very much appreciate the raw power of this particular digital powerhouse.
Overall the original is the clear winner for me, though fans of Electric Rescue’s previous output may well find joy here also.
Release Date: Out Now
Words: Stevie Reid