Artist: Eelke Kleijn
Title: 8 Bit Era / Import Bride
Label: Baroque Limited
By: Darren Rhys | 12 September 2006
  • A: 8 Bit Era
  • B: Import Bride

Eelke Kleijn "8 Bit Era / Import Bride"

Out Now on Baroque Limited

Born in Rotterdam, 23 year-old Eelke Kleijn is no stranger to the world of underground dance music. Having launched Matt Black's Segment Records in 2003 with double A-side 4.5 Billion Years / Knowledge Base, further offerings as a solo artist and remix work have established his name amongst the elite of the progressive community. On his latest release, Eelke graces the long-standing Baroque Records via their 'Limited' offshoot, with tracks '8 Bit Era' and 'Import Bride'.

Continuing a theme of chunky, melody-laden house tracks which have been prevalent in Baroque's recent history, A-side '8 Bit Era' kicks off powerfully. A tough kick drum sets the tone before the initial melodies are introduced, building to subtle climax before a bold, analog bassline takes control. An injection of liveliness occurs thanks to a development of percussion, before a series of stunning melodic sequences are unleashed. Subtle piano tones wash over the soundscape before a huge square-lead synth takes over and dominates the mid-section. Combined with the bassline groove, these melodies have been beautifully constructed and Eelke's ability to construct well-considered musicality to a track becomes apparent. The breakdown gives the dancefloor a breather, bringing to the foreground the vocal snippets which have been present throughout. A fresh melody sound rises to the fore, yet this time more attitude-laden, carrying us to the close of the track. Smooth strings juxtapose excellently, with the track seemingly finding the perfect balance between melody and solid groove, which Baroque are reknowned for. A track as much for home listening as for the dancefloor, '8 Bit Era' is a promising start to this release.

On the flip, 'Import Bride' begins with a distinct electro flavour. Twisted fx sounds compliment a simple electro bass sequence, before a robotic-vocal races to the heart of the track. The chunky house rhythm pushes things along relentlessly, with an arpeggiated lead prompting a brief hiatus. Some airy pads drifting across the piece add a progressive feel to the piece, before the electro groove re-asserts itself prior to the breakdown. A new hook with a distinct old-skool flavour comes into play here, leading the piece into a predictably floor-filling finale.

Eelke Kleijn and Baroque seem a match made in heaven when considering the label's most recent direction. Tough, melodic, peak-time house numbers seem the order of the day, and the Dutchman certainly delivers just that on this release. While 'Import Bride' is not something which would earn substantial longevity in my record box, it will certainly find favour amongst those still feeling that big electro-house sound. When pitched alongside other tracks of it's type, I feel 'Import Bride' does possess that much needed extra 'something' in a rapidly waning genre, chiefly thanks to Eelke's ability to construct well-crafted melodies. '8 Bit Era' is the stronger track, however, with excellent melodies combining beautifully with subtle yet very powerful vocal samples. These ride alongside a solid house groove, creating a track which I think is one of Kleijn's finest to date.

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