Artist: Ashtrax
Title: Bad Red EP
Label: GU Music
By: Simon Jones | 21 May 2005
  • A1: Freeload (Freelove)
  • B1: Something To Get Through
  • B2: Play It Rosa (Instrumental)

Ashtrax "Bad Red EP"

Out Now on GU Music

Ashtrax are undoubtedly amongst the few artists who could be considered to be responsible for shaping and defining the progressive music scene over the past decade, with many artists getting the Ashtrax remix treatment and subsequently ending up in the record boxes of most top tier DJs. When it comes to original production, there's been only a mere handful of singles in the past few years, with 'Digital Reason' and 'Helsinki' being the two that most prominently spring to mind. An artist album, long rumoured for some time destined never to appear, but Global Underground have stepped in and added Ashtrax to the artist roster of GU MUsic, and the 'Bad Red EP' could be considered a preview of what to expect from their debut album when it appears later this year.

Lead by the track 'Freeload (Freelove), this EP aims to show the varied influenced and sounds that fall under the Ashtrax banner, with this particular track a simple but incredibly effective lo-fi club track. It's charm lies in it's fusion of house and electro elements, underpinned by subtle bass and a groove that makes you want to dance, and whilst it may not push the envelope that far, its an unashamedly direct dancefloor track that does what it sets out to do.

'Something To Get Through' brings Ben Lost, the third and most recently inducted member of Ashtrax into the fray, providing vocals on this rock-edged electronic house piece. A generic sub bassline provides the backdrop, whilst guitar elements and Ben's retro-styled vocal take centre stage. As songs go, it's well produced and has an incredibly catchy hook from where it takes it's title, and if nothing else, hints at a potential crossover appeal that Ashtrax could have if they wished to develop in this direction.

The 'Instrumental Version' of 'Play It Rosa' completes the EP. Originally included on Ashley Casselle's 2003 Radio One Essential Mix, this ambient breakbeat track is a nice little addition to the EP, it's laid back stylings, piano and cut up breakbeat groove both enchanting and captivating, but is more suited to headphone listening than a club.

When all is said and done, the 'Bad Red EP' brings together three very different tracks which set the foundation for the upcoming album. Quite what the next few months will bring from the trio of Casselle, Christopher and Lost remains to be seen, but it's a return most welcome, and one I shall be watching with keen interest.

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