Artist: Estroe
Title: Driven
Label: Connaisseur Superieur
By: Antonella Sirec | 18 January 2007
  • A: Original Mix
  • B: Jamie Jones 'Pacific' Mix

Estroe "Driven"

Out Now on Connaisseur Superieur

With all things minimal having seeped its way into almost every facet of dance music these days, it's sometimes difficult to get excited about certain releases when 95% all sound the same. From my perspective, every genre has a rightful place in today's underground dance movement because as the saying goes, variety is the spice of life. But sometimes too much is simply too much when it's clear that a particular bandwagon is being jumped on by a DJ and/or producer just to give the appearance of being "cutting edge". So the jaded old woman that I am, I sat down to listen to Estroe's latest release 'Driven' with the clear intention that I would hate it. Well imagine my surprise when I found myself not only enjoying this new release but completely losing myself in all its beauty.

The original version of 'Driven' begins things on an almost ping-pong style beat as a deeply vibrating bass wanders into the track. Shortly thereafter, cut up synths are layered over the top for a fractured effect. This sets things up at a very interesting level for the dubby melody to be introduced. This particular melody quite literally glides over the track and with the help of a deep sub melody, it all combines to create a rich and thought provoking tune that piques the listener's interest successfully. Throughout the course of 'Driven', the intensity that was slowly building in the beginning continues to grow as the sub melody becomes a more prominent feature of the track. High hats lend an interesting facet but the main focus remains on the gliding aspects of the various melodies. For me, this could be associated with having an out of body experience where you watch yourself and the rest of the world go about its business. While sometimes forgetting it's there, that deep bass that subtly controls the track keeps things on a very grounded level. This isn't a full blown, head crunching techno release and it's certainly not on the minimal side of the genre. It is however something that is comfortably nestled in between and structured in a very progressive way. A truly evocative track that gets better and better with each consecutive listen. Outstanding!

As I've said on occasion, I'm often concerned how the remix of a particular track that I like very much will sound in that it can lessen the impact of the original greatly if the final result is below par. I love how 'Driven' sounds and I find it one of the more intriguing releases that I've had the pleasure of hearing. Thankfully my concerns were laid to rest upon first hearing the Jamie Jones 'Pacific' Mix of 'Driven'. This version begins on a very crisp beat interspersed with minute synths. As the bass comes in, it's immediately clear that this is a more up-tempo interpretation. The sub melody from the original plays a much greater role this time around while the signature gliding sound is used more for dramatic affect. This version of 'Driven' literally bounces along, happily riding that bass, which is now more obvious throughout the duration of the track. A very gratifying remix that lends more to a deeper house sound then its techno counterpart. Of the two versions on this release, it is probably the more accessible but without forgoing any of the interesting aspects of the original. A brilliant remix to say the least.

Overall, 'Driven' by Estroe is a superb release that will have fans of both techno and deep house wanting more. In fact, it would not surprise me if this were to appear in many progressive based mixes. Both versions of this track are phenomenal. While the original is happily geared towards the more minimal side of techno, it never transitions completely into the duller tones of that genre which unfortunately can often lessen the overall success of a track. This is a track that I absolutely adore and have on repeat whenever the opportunity allows. More then anything, it's the type of track that makes me wish I were a DJ just so I could play it out in a club. On the flipside, the Jamie Jones 'Pacific' Mix of 'Driven' is a perfect compliment to the original with its overall sound firmly fixed in the more deeper house spectrum of dance music, but don't be fooled too much because this is still a very upbeat version that will have many people heading for the nearest dance floor. 'Driven' is a release that continually interests me as a sound and is therefore superb on all levels.

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