Artist: Ali Ajami & Chris Micali
Title: Wish I Loved You / Strings Of Life
Label: Vapour Recordings
By: Darren Rhys | 8 August 2006
  • A: Wish I Loved You
  • B: Strings Of Life

Ali Ajami & Chris Micali "Wish I Loved You / Strings Of Life"

Out Now on Vapour Recordings

Chris Micali has earned and retained an impressive fanbase in underground circles thanks to his driving progressive house music, spanning over several years in the scene. Consistently he manages to fuse familiar progressive stylings with a uplifting, melodic and groovy twist. On this double offering of 'Wish I Loved You' and 'Strings Of Life', Chris collaborates once more with Dubai-based producer and dj Ali Ajami. As a production outfit, they have been responsible for some highly impressive remix contributions to Nu Republic and Bedrock Records.

'Wish I Loved You' is a tough, techy affair which kicks off with great promise. A filtered and heavily-effected vox loop hinting to the title of the track builds relentlessly to the first break, with some bright pads joining the fun before a wickedly funky bassline augments proceedings. With an introduction which promises great things, the track is adversely affected with the introduction of an electro synth element, which for my tastes sounds dated and lacking in adventure. The breakdown attempts to realise the early potential of the track with great use of the vocal phrases, a swirling arpeggiated synth line working its way around the soundscape and some bold musical textures. When the kick and bassline spring back to life, 'Wish I Loved You' takes on a slightly new approach before reverting back to an electro-infused closure to what is a decent, yet instantly forgettable piece. From the perspective of the dancefloor, what it lacks in creativity and innovation is partially made up for with undeniable production quality, which I'm sure will sound impressive on high-quality soundsystems.

'Strings Of Life' continues the pace set by the A-side, with a punchy kick and driving bass kicking this off promisingly before a crescendo leaves a dark, melancholic meandering. This is juxtaposed with the reintroduction of the highly infectious and groovy bassline pattern from before, now joined by some higher square-lead melodies sharing the same key sequence. The top line hook offers a welcome focal point to the track, giving the piece a sense of purpose and distinction. The main breakdown develops this lead line, with some changes in direction to the bass now offering an epic tinge to a track that is essentially very bass-driven, as is much of Micali's work.

The duo of Ajami and Micali have forged a solid reputation with previous production collaborations, and while neither track stands out as being exceptional, 'Strings Of Life' is certainly the stronger of the two. Both are capable of working effectively on a dancefloor near you, and will undoubtedly slot nicely into the boxes of many.

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