Lee Van Dowski's "L'Hotel Cherif" is a lesson in achieving a state of static sameness and churning variation at once. It finds its groove early and hits its cruising altitude after a big buildup breaks at the 2:00 mark—and then pretty much punches out from there, gliding along on well-traveled tracks laid in the service of big, steely tech house anthems past. Or does it? For all the ways it sounds nicely zoned-out and increasingly lost in itself, "L'Hotel Cherif" also cycles through an impressive arsenal of tweaks and turns, layering in little percussive ticks and changing points of emphasis until the whole thing takes on a disorienting cork-screwing quality. The effect of it proves all the more alluring in contrast to a remix by Ilario Alicante, who capably makes it bang more but, necessarily, loses some of the subtlety at play in the original.
The opposite dynamic factors into the B-side "The Old Faithful." Van Dowski's version rumbles and bounds, while Alicante's trims some of its trance-y excesses in a graceful "reinterpretation" full of mystery and intrigue, plus a good infusion of drum sounds marked by that kind of grainy, brainy Villalobosian shiver and squirm.
Tracklist: Lee Van Dowski - L'Hotel CherifA1 L’Hotel Cherif
A2 The Old Faithful
B1 L’Hotel Cherif (Ilario Alicante Floor Remix)
B2 The Old Faithful (Ilario Alicante Remix)