It isn't all that noticeable at first, but with repeated listens, the individual quirks of the lip-spitting cymbals, the swooning background vocals and the wobbly retro synth lines all take on a certain intangible feel simply not heard on other records. This isn't a new trick by any means (see Matthew Herbert's Bodily Functions, for example), but Aju couples it with a killer tune and the combination elevates the proceedings to a level far beyond mere gimmickry.
Luciano's "Likuid" mix bucks the deep house trend that he's been following of late. In fact, this is more of a banger than we've heard from Luciano in quite a while; judging from the results, he should turn to it more often, as he really outdoes himself here. Veering 180 degrees from Aju's spacious, laid-back original, Luciano tosses in everything but the kitchen sink, deftly avoiding clutter while taking the listener on an adventurous ride.
Opening with a cut-up voice and percussion wig-out before submitting to a murderous bass thump that drives the track, Luciano rides along on a bed of toms, Aju's ghostly backing vocals and some perfectly deployed fills (oh, that timbale!) for nearly 11 minutes. Layers upon layers of his trademark percussion and a series of dizzying effects keep things moving along until 5:30, when a hammering synth riff is introduced. By the time the jazzy keyboard solo hits a few minutes later, I had to check my pants for wetness. Luciano sounds like he's having the time of his life here and he's taking us along with him. Lucky, lucky us.