Sonikross // My Religion [Jeepers!]
Edinburgh’s own Nigel Ross AKA Sonikross has a growing profile and reputation, and really laid down a marker last year with his and Johnny Frenetic’s ferocious remix of Mory Kante’s seminal Yeke Yeke. He is having a prolific 2012, with releases on Big In Ibiza, Carica, Fixate, and Exhilarated Records in the last two months alone – Jeepers! can now be added to that list, with the release this week of My Religion.
The original mix starts off with just Sara K’s wordless vocal, as the rest of the arrangement starts to appear in the distance and gradually begins to get her back – when the kick drum eventually arrives we have nice pads and strings providing genuine drama as the vocal continues, then, after a short break, things really start to kick off. An additional vocal riff is added into the mix as the muscular arrangement branches out around it, before the three minute mark sees the arrival of the main vocal at the centre of the tune – this is both clean and incisive, and works very well within the cut and thrust of the music that is structured around it, with both parties providing plenty of energy. The main breakdown is very effective, and the track continues to raise the stakes upon its return, with a high synth melody bringing further momentum and an additional edge to proceedings, before it winds down to a close. The track is very reminiscent of The Freemasons, and if you are into their brand of vocal house then this is sure to hit the spot, both in your headphones and on the dancefloor.
Sonik’s Devil mix has an atmospheric pad setting the scene, some decisive piano chords and the vocal runs are then brought in to build the tension, before the arrival of a thunderous kick drum and bassline that sweep everything before them, in glorious fashion – the high synths from the closing stages of the original take centre stage in this mix, though plenty more new additions are brought to the table also. The main vocal does not appear until the breakdown in this cut, and is again put to very good use – the mix overall is another fine piece of work, tougher than the original, and it’s that harder edge that makes this the superior mix in my book. That said, it’s a tough call to make, and this version completes an impressive opening brace.
If the two Sonikross mixes have a confident strut about them, label boss Nick Hook’s very assured remix has more of a spring in its step, with nice key changes giving it a sunnier outlook than the previous two mixes – though the raw buzz of the low end that appears does add a rougher edge. The vocal is again well used to build tension in the breakdown, and when the track swings back into action some spacey synths and that low end – combined with some nice additional clicks in the percussion – have the track in full flight. The Dub version is as you would expect, and therefore is also very nice.
I don’t know if it’s a case of too many cooks but after the confident manoeuvres of the previous mixes, Oliver Lang and Whelan & Di Scala’s hyperactive remix doesn’t work for me – there’s just too much going on and everything is pitched too high for my liking. The breakdown is the highlight, with sweeping strings playing against some nice, rich low end – but it’s a relative oasis in the context of the track overall.
Regardless, this is a good release, and sure to be very much enjoyed by its target listeners.
Release Date: Out Now
Words: Stevie Reid