Artist: Derek Howell
Title: Take Me / Ya Know
Label: Mynt Music
By: Darren Rhys | 25 July 2006
  • A: Take Me (RJones Club Edit)
  • B: Ya Know (Original Mix)

Derek Howell "Take Me / Ya Know"

Out Now on Mynt Music

Despite a relatively short production career, Houston's Derek Howell has already made a hefty dent in the progressive scene. Solo work for the almighty Bedrock Records, as well as collaborative efforts as Lonestar, Pinkbox Special and The Alley Qats have substantiated the idea that this particular spark of talent is one of the brightest in the scene today.

Derek's offerings on Mynt Music comes in the form of two original pieces, with Randall Jones' Club Edit of 'Take Me' leading the way. The edit is introduced with moody atmospherics maundering alongside a pounding kick drum, before vocal stabs with varying degrees of reverb and filtering refer to the track title. A fantastically contemporary electronic bass drops to reveal a progressive stormer destined for huge soundsystems across the globe. An incessant vocal stab continues, yet never tiring the listener thanks to clever use of subtle effects. Rising tribal drums come to the fore before a breakdown hosts a series of simple yet extremely effective synth hooks. What is essentially a simple formula, 'Take Me' is nothing short of superb. A track with mood, groove and evident production prowess, this is a slice of progressive house as it should be.

'Ya Know' rounds up the offering, with a welcome detour in style from it's counterpart highlighting Howell's diversity as a producer. Inventive drum patterns lead the way, building a solid groove with an almost techy-flavour. Heavily delayed vocal stabs rise and fall adding to a soundscape augmented by a bobbing bassline. With the percussion driving things along with vigour, a filter plunges the elements into obscurity, leading us to the break. Some curiously fresh old-skool stabs harking back to early house music are introduced, resulting in a strong finale to what is a very impressive release.

The package potentially has something for anyone with any vague allegiance to this genre we call 'progressive house', and while the tracks may not be as 'instant' as some of Derek's more melody-driven offerings, I'm convinced fans of his work will not be dissapointed. With a reputation that barely needs further strengthening, my suspicion is that 'Take Me' and 'Ya Know' will do just that.

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