Artist: Barbara Brown
Title: Dammelo
Label: Alternative Route
By: Nick Bower | 25 June 2004
  • A1: Original Mix
  • B1: Paolo Mojo Mix
  • B2: Adam Freemer Mix

Barbara Brown "Dammelo"

Out Now on Alternative Route

Hailing from Montreal, Barbara Brown, AKA the laid back sounding 'Misstress Barbara', has travelled an interesting journey to arrive where she is today. Initially picking up drums to play in various rock and punk bands as a youngster, her increasing love of diverse musical genres ultimately led her to dabble with electronic sounds. During the mid 90s', after honing her skills on the decks and proving herself a gifted DJ, bookings for work came her way thick and fast. Barbara's style, a fusion of techno, house and funky Latin rhythms, has been aired at a selection of high-profile events across the globe such as; SONAR, GodsKitchen and Awakenings. Twilo, Zouk and Velvet Underground are just some of the iconic clubs her talents on the turntables have taken her to. As is often the case, after several years of successful DJ'ing Barbara acquired an interest in producing her own, original material.

By throwing herself into some intense studio work and eventually spawning techno label ITURNEM, Barbara now had all the tools to be able to showcase her new productions. However, an important decision to dispense with her techno-oriented 'Mistress Barbara' guise for a while gave Barbara the opportunity to pursue other projects. As if shedding a musical skin, she now picked up a totally new, more heavily house influenced outfit to wear - re-inventing herself as 'Barbara Brown'. Differentiating her 'Mistress Brown' and 'Barbara Brown' alter egos meant she could happily follow her desire to produce house music, without alienating or confusing her existing techno fan base.

Barbara Brown's latest release 'Dammelo' brings us bang up to date in her story. The Original mix of the track comes across as a head-on clash between Barbara's techno roots and her house tendencies, providing a techy, pulsing overall sound. Starting off with a looped electric guitar sample, a rather stabby kickdrum and female "Dammelo" vocal, this then leads on to an assortment of other spoken words. Some gorgeous filter work pushes us up to a peaking wall of sound, before a shimmering synth line slides in and a beefy bassline hammers into the mix. The guitar loop remains throughout the track, providing an underlying, chugging sound whilst the filters crop back up later in the mix to devastating effect. Overall the Original Mix is a well crafted production, providing a mixture of sounds which keep the track interesting from start to finish.

Paolo Mojo delivers his now trademark quirky, funk-propelled tech-prog blend as his own take of 'Dammelo'. Synth stabs, claps and squelches of sound fire out of the speakers as the female vocal is once again utilised. Paolo then distorts this vocal, for the first of a couple of instances in his mix into almost tearing, searing noise before the twirling synths develop into an irresistibly funky melody. This wiggly groove is backed by skippy hi-hats, later joined by warm organ-style notes and a short breakbeat which see the mix to its close. This is certainly a mix that's guaranteed to get butts off seats and people dancing and no mistake.

Last, but not least, is Philadelphian producer Adam Freemer's mix, proudly tom-toming its way into life. Delivering an eerie number, Freemer combines echoed FX and vocal snippets as a steady, tribal-esque beat punches a hole aggressively through the high pitched synths. Retaining a very atmospheric soundscape feel throughout the entire track, this is an interesting amalgamation between cinematic and tech-house styles.

In conclusion, you're getting a good trio of tracks on offer here, which together form quite a solid release. Although not immediately apparent 'Dammelo' is actually a fairly subtle number, it doesn't necessarily have you captivated straight away with an instantly catchy riff or melody. However, good things come to those who wait. You get the feeling that after a couple of listens, (particularly thanks to the Paolo Mojo mix), that 'Dammelo' has managed to squeeze itself inside your subconscious when you've least expected it. Definitely a grower...and yet another release to add to Alternative Route's growing arsenal of weapons of mass destruction.

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