Artist: Blue Haze
Title: Regaining Conciousness
Label: Nascent Recordings
By: Jonathan Lisle | 11 June 2004
  • A: Original Mix
  • B: Dislodged Mix

Blue Haze "Regaining Conciousness"

Out Now on Nascent Recordings

This is another top class track from producer Mick Burns. Having been one to watch closely ever since his amazing Pantopic track 'Surface', a record which combined four "genres" of dance music in a really unique way. Since then he has always delivered top quality music. Tracks like 'Forwards' and 'Undertones' have not left my box for a while now and stand out for their originality and quality production. 'Regaining Conciousness' is no exception to the standard Mick has set himself.

I first heard this track when Nascent’s Mark Holmes dropped it at a gig in Zurich. When it kicked back in after the breakdown I ran up to the booth to see what it was as the club exploded. My main reasons were the sublime, futuristic mood and the depth and warmth of the pads. Mick begins with a nice bouncy kick and sparkling percussion before introducing some low atmospheric chords and teasing in snippets of the vocal which later forms the centre piece of the track. The chords swell as the kick drum drops out briefly and returns with a nice stabbing 4 note bassline. Mick brings in a great understated melody, running the filter and volume envelope through a LFO so that it drifts in and out while some cool sci-fi bleeps bounce of each other and the punchy snares. The track then drops out to this massive, warm and intelligent breakdown. This is the highlight of the track for me. Beautiful, emotional chord changes and a very cool Stephen Hawkin sounding vocal sample, all layered with the re-occurring subtle melody. The vocal is cryptic and mysterious and underlines the ambiguous mood. ’ I’m not afraid to listen. You are my imagination so I need your help. Where are you? Can you hear me? Are you close?’. Absolutely fantastic.

Mick adds to the build up of anticipation by taking his chords higher before it all kicks back in.. Some subtle notes changes on the bass pick up the pace. This is followed by a stripped down section where the emphasis goes back to the pads, leading to a final short breakdown, still with smatterings of the vocal. This is class. The record has a really unique sense of emotion and energy. It’s also great for mixing with, especially coming out of a dark section in your set, because the pads bring the warmth back but the vocal and atmospherics hark back to the earlier, eerie mood. Mick uses the Scream patch in Reason set to tape compression to get the warmth which makes this track stand out. Mic swears by Reason but he also uses sound forge and logic for the plug-ins.

The remix is provided by two stars of the future 'Dislodged', the duo of Adam Heliwell & Mike Miller from 3Beat. This is a fine piece of progressive breakbeat which I have started many sets with this year. The track begins with the kind of class layered spage-age sounds Sasha used to come out with when he was working with Tom Frederikse. They bring in the quality crunchy snares as a dark pulsating bass is introduced then light kicks bounce around the weaving motion synths before the strong kick comes in on the main riff. This is an almost guitar sounding lead which is melodic enough to move you but simple enough to make it ‘catchy’. On the first breakdown, they bring in the full vocal, using 2 tracks for the sample, one dripped in reverb and reversed. 16 bars after the kick back is this class long note bassline that reminds me of Wrecked Angle. The highlight for me is when the drums drop in and out on the main breakdown creating a nice staggered, stuttering effect. Top class production and some excellent ideas, an original arrangement and enough energy to rock a dancefloor but with enough emotion to keep the mood sublime. Dislodged, who are influenced by artists like Chable and Matthew Dekay, also use Reason. They exported the track into Sound Forge and boosted it using Steinberg Clean. For the top notch drums, they use Recycle and the Rex player, using samples from Elab, the Re-drum unit and several delay, compressor and reverb units. They recommend chainging compressors and reverb units through the re-drum machines in Reason.

So another great release for Nascent. This tops Subsky’s excellent Albino as their best release to date and there’s more first class records on the way from Neil Evans' label, including quality material from two of my favorite producers at the moment, Shiloh and Subsky.

Music Reviews -more-