The latest release from Antrim’s Or Two Strangers welcomes Juan Sapia to the label for his debut EP. Hailing from the progressive house hotbed of Buenos Aires, the Argentinean artist has been on a steady rise throughout 2019. Original projects for Beat Boutique, Genesis Music, Plattenbank and Soundteller Records have all been sensational. Now fresh off a contribution to Sudbeat’s ‘Showcrates’ Vol. 7, the Hernan Cattaneo favourite lands on Or Two Strangers with ‘Magic Moon’ alongside remixes from Bluum and Parallel Universe.
Often sitting in the creative space between deep and progressive house, Juan veers closer to the latter on the lead track ‘Magic Moon’. Bulbous beats, lively drums and chunky bass stabs power what is a robust foundation, while melodious arps fill in the framework. Spine tingling sweeps heighten the senses across a vibrant first act, before a complementary break shifts energy into a groovy drop and emotive finale. The companion piece ‘Baham’ follows suit with its beefy peak time flavour. Once again backed by a hearty groove, it’s a maze of detailed percussion and firing electronics that push momentum forward. Siren-like overlays add tension and drama while layers of drums convene in a unique sonic space. As the breakdown commences the narrative shifts with a series of unconventional chord changes, drawing from both the emotive and esoteric, before elegantly peaking as the beats drop for a magical dance floor moment.
The lone interpretation of ‘Magic Moon’ is provided by Bluum who makes his label debut. Hailing from Leamington Spa, the UK artist first appeared in 2018 with a string of releases on FSOE and UV. Quickly established as a talent in the world of progressive house, Bluum went on to feature his music on John OO Fleming’s JOOF Recordings and Deadmau5’s mau5trap imprint. Now following a remix for the fast rising 10 Steps North, Bluum makes his Or Two Strangers debut with a gorgeous take on ‘Magic Moon’. Leaning towards the trancier side of progressive house, the UK artist reworks the groove into a warm, full bodied wave of emotional energy. Poignant tones and icy pads build anticipation, as percussive flurries and sonic artefacts deliver dynamic moments across the first act. Unabashedly epic, the centrepiece showcases a reprocessed take on the main arp, flowing through tasteful modulation as a wave of drums builds towards a powerful drop.
The release concludes with Parallel Universe also making their label debut with the lone interpretation of ‘Baham’. Hailing from Colombia, Ethereal Mist and Mauro Pierotti make up the Parallel Universe production duo. The Medellin residents first conceptualized the project in 2018 with releases on Clubsonica Records and Spring Tube. Now firmly established as one of the genre’s top up and coming duos, Parallel Universe has landed 2019 releases on Balkan Connection, Stellar Fountain and Clubsonica, the latter of which appears to be acting as their primary home. Now fresh off an EP for Onestar Records, Parallel Universe rounds out the release with a powerful take on ‘Baham’. Drawing on the rhythmic sensibilities of the original, the Colombian duo rework the storyboard with cross cultural vocals and playful arps. It’s this unique marriage which creates a wave of melody and colour throughout an expansive break. Muted beats build tension as the vocal narrative continues to deliver haunting moments, before a rush of beats and drums perfectly segues into a pulsating final act. A stunning remix from the Colombia duo which caps off an excellent Or Two Strangers debut for this talented trio of artists.
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