The Derrick L. Carter classic ‘Where We At’ gets the remix treatment on Sonar Kollektiv courtesy of Âme, Dixon and Henrik Schwarz. With this amount of talent locked in the studio the outcome would always garnish critical death penalty or godlike status: Âme is the production talent behind last year’s club monster ‘Rej’, Dixon is the deep house connoisseur who runs Innervisions and Henrik Schwarz is the brain behind Sunday Music and no slouch in the production department himself.
‘Where We At’ is a production that sounds good on a big system. ‘Version 1’ begins with drums, shakers and nice details in the vocal: with clubs rocking so much less-is-more minimal madness right now, it’s nice to hear a vocal, and a decent one that means something at that. Horns build the intensity, the percussion uplifts the track and the buildup is warm and well orchestrated with shakers and stabbin’ chords that’ll drive drunk drag queens to the dancefloor. This version hasn’t had much changed, the original wasn’t bad at all but it now sounds fresher, more diverse, with crossover appeal to DJs as varied as Gilles Peterson and Carl Craig.
‘Version 2’ kicks off with the same melody, but the shakers and percussion hang on for longer: this one builds a bit more at the deep house end of things before the vocal drops. There is not much changed here, and with the amount of talent on hand it would have been nice to hear Âme rework the beats and bass, or perhaps Dixon infuse more geometry in the melody.
Before the explosion of tech/minimal/whatever over the last few years I listened to a lot of Âme and Dixon and they truly produce cosy, tight tracks. Seeing them live is a tutorial in soul, energy and intimacy of the deeper variety. ‘Where It’s At’ is a welcome excursion, and it portends a shift towards more deep house producers creating projects for the dancefloor, which means tight production and the introduction of more song-based arrangements.
Overall it’s a sure-fire player for many different types of DJs. The spirit of the original remains, but powder puffs uplift the track and lend it a fresh feel. My only bone of contention is that the two re-edits sound very similar, but testimony to the amount of times I have heard it, people are still buying it and in droves aplenty. Besides this rework, only Ben Watt’s Buzzin’ Fly has tried to bridge the deep/tech house gap, putting out the recent Âme ‘Insomnia’ remixes and Nova Dream Sequence (aka King Britt, who remixed Josh One’s ‘Contemplation’). Take a look at the Ibiza residencies this year and you’ll see the small surge, the undercurrent of returning to roots. With these artists, moving back to deep house it might just be possible.
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