Artist: Habersham
Title: Song Of The Lizard
Label: Lobotomy Records
By: Antonella Sirec | 28 August 2006
  • 1. Original Mix
  • 2. Sound Alliance Mix

Habersham "Song Of The Lizard"

Out Now on Lobotomy Records

In this day and age, fans of dance music are in a privileged position to be able to listen to the latest release at the touch of a mouse. More often then not, each track follows a particular safe formula and while it can still be pleasing to the listener, such tracks are not breaking any new ground or exploring new musical territory. As much as I love the music I listen to, I've often felt a certain element of creativity has been lacking and therefore I jadedly think I've heard it all. That was the case until recently when I had the pleasure of listening to 'Song of the Lizard' by Habersham. Both the original version and the Sound Alliance remix, are, from my perspective, a work of art.

Opening in a sudden crescendo of chords, 'Song of the Lizard' begins with a sly wonky bass that builds in volume until the beats kick in and a jazz infused trumpet melody takes over the direction of the tune. The diffused bass takes a number of twists and turns throughout and in conjunction with high-pitched synths to add dramatic affect. This is heightened by the distorted sound effects that are used periodically. But it's that jazz trumpet that really grabs the listener's attention as it is not overly prominent in the overall arrangement but used in such a way as to make you think it's a sound in the distance thereby forcing the listener to concentrate on that very sound. The track takes on such a smokey, hazey feel that I'm instantly reminded of my favourite jazz musician John Coltrane. Towards the end of the original version, the track begins to taper off to the sound of bare drums and snippets of that jazz trumpet melody before concluding quietly with those distorted synths.

The only way I can describe 'Song of the Lizard' is that it is a fusion of electronica and modern jazz elements. This isn't dance music in the normal sense and I can't think of anything that I've ever heard that would remotely sound similar to this composition. What it is however is a successful journey into a more experimental side of underground dance music that not many producers are willing or ready to take. Habersham has truly created something that is unique and extremely forward thinking. Listening to this piece of music is like hearing a mini opus of varying musical genres that works on many artistic levels. Simply put, it's breathtaking!

I sometimes hesitate about the remixes that accompany releases as at times they can diminish the impact of the original. With that in mind, I was concerned where the remix for this track would go but what Sound Alliance has created with their interpretation of 'Song of the Lizard' is truly fantastic. The remix begins coyly with the introduction of beats and distorted samples. Within a minute, a more padded beat takes over and various sound effects are introduced as a means of layering the atmosphere. The momentum in the track builds surreptitiously until roughly four minutes in the melodic jazz trumpet that drove the original mix is brought in and elongated as a climactic focal point. At this state, the bass builds so voluminously that it overtakes the track in sound before dropping into a sea of chords. The tune now becomes more melodic in feel and the tempo increases without letting the intensity ease off at any point. Towards the end of the track, piano chords are introduced which add another surprising element to the sound before petering off in much the same was as the original but with a more sudden use of synths.

This is a richly, dark rendering of 'Song of the Lizard' that Sound Alliance have created. It broods menacingly from start to finish but at certain points is quite enlightening. The use of synths and distortions to add tension is performed expertly and given the right treatment in a club environment, it will be the kind of tune that is going to twists people's heads inside out. While the more experimental elements have been purposely underplayed, a continuos groove has been added instead which only adds to the track's now darker qualities. This is one remix that does not disappoint.

Overall, the original mix of 'Song of the Lizard' and its counterpart, the Sound Alliance remix are an exceptional release for Habersham. Being so used to hearing releases with similar sounds and structures that are specifically pocketed into one genre or another, it was refreshing to hear something that travels down a creative and as such, different path in sound. Judging from this release alone, Habersham is one producer that’s not afraid to take chances with his compositions and he does it in such a way, that the listener is drawn in immediately. With 'Song of the Lizard', he has managed to create something that’s not only original but also a joy to listen to whether in its original format or the Sound Alliance remix. This is progressive in its purest form.

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