Artist: Darren Emerson
Title: Crash Jack
Label: GU Music
By: Ryan Simoneau | 9 September 2008
  • A: Original Mix
  • B: Magik Johnson Mix

Darren Emerson "Crash Jack"Darren Emerson "Crash Jack"

Out Now on GU Music

Fans of electronic music are no strangers to Darren Emerson. Not only was he a member of supergroup Underworld but since his departure, his Underwater Records has become one of the leading labels in house music. Darren’s solo output has been sparse but now he’s back with a new single to lead up to his forthcoming mix album for Global Underground. “Crash Jack” has already been getting lots of love from heavyweights like Howells, Zabiela and Tom Findlay of Groove Armada, so I was anxious to put this on and hear for myself.

“Crash Jack” is Darren’s first solo release in three years and is a simple, solid techno tune that wastes no time getting down to business. A lovely piano-led riff gives way to jacked up, rolling drumbeats that build and build (and build) before finally exploding into the club stratosphere. And that’s exactly what this tune was designed to do, destroy a dancefloor. To these ears, it’s very retro and reminiscent of the legendary “French Kiss” by Lil’ Louis, which is not bad company by any stretch. But there’s no doubt about it though as Darren has delivered what should prove to be a peak time favorite.

Darren’s labelmate, Magik Johnson, reworks the track on the flip side but to less than stellar effect. Gone is the building vibe from the original and in comes a trendier, electro slant. By losing what made the track stand out in the first place, Magik Johnson’s take becomes bland and repetitive all too quickly. Pure filler stuff here.

“Crash Jack” is the perfect cut for the middle of a set, where it can really take the dancefloor to another dimension. Darren is a master of this as we’ve seen from his work with Underworld and in his own mixes. I have no doubt that when this tunes drops on his forthcoming Global Underground album that it will sound at its best in the context of the mix. Hopefully it will be the original version, as the Magik Johnson mix does not get my stamp of approval.

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