Artist: Inkfish & David West
Title: Hello Piano
Label: Mistakes Music
By: Carleton Neil | 23 November 2008
  • A: Original Mix
  • B: Sebastien Leger Mix

Inkfish & David West "Hello Piano"Inkfish & David West "Hello Piano"

Out Now on Mistakes Music

Since 2004, David West and Inkfish have collaborated on no less than ten occasions, be it original productions like their dark and chunky debut 'Aftermath', remixes of each other's work ('Larry Mountains 54'), or working under pseudonyms ('Synergy'). When they aren't attached at the musical hip, they have been spotted on the musical radar of some well-known names in the music industry. Progressive-Sounds regulars may recognize West from his bombastic remix of Shiloh's 'Reaction' from their 2006 LP slash back catalogue, as well as his appearances on other Baroque Records releases. If you've not heard of Inkfish in their ten-plus years of producing, you may have stumbled across their work through an Ozgur Can or Nick Muir remix, 'Searching For Substance' and 'Prescreen', respectively.

Inkfish and West's latest production tag-team 'Hello Piano' is a conceptual continuation of sorts from their Synergy alias where in 2005 they released a single titled 'Hello Strings', a track featuring a string arrangement in its breakdown. In 'Hello Piano', they haven't lost the strings but it should come as no surprise from the title what this track is all about.

Starting out with a strong kick and snare and adding a layer of watery fills, the track quickly jumps up several levels of intensity with a flourish of strings into a syncopated bassline. The vocal is awakened via an EQ tweak, and soon groomed by a warm layer of cascading strings. Bonus points if you can decipher the words, and although 'Onaip Olleh' sounds right, reversing the vocal seems to prove otherwise. Synths flow up and over the track until the breakdown, where the introduction of a piano matches the melody of the strings. From there, the piano takes the lead, spurring the track forward like a mid-90s Brian Transeau track, towing the vocal back in and breaking through a wall of kicks and synths. As the track enters its final phase, the track teeters on some deeply warbled acid synths, but if you survive until the very end, you'll find the strings fully fleshed out like some sort of finished symphony.

The beginning of Sebastien Leger's remix certainly takes a more sombre note to what was otherwise a jubilant original mix. Remorseful and brooding, synths play out in some sort of desperate harmonic minor, with the strings from the original no longer a cry of victory but a wailing swan song. Leger shores up minimal tech influences with deflated claps and hollow fills, growing a buzzing sustained synth into a bassline that in any other track might be considered cheeky. Stay on until the breakdown; the dark clouds part with the return of the piano and the track takes to a cautiously optimistic tone, like the rain has finally stopped and the sun is trying to come out. The conclusion of the track plays out like a child stomping in puddles with mischievous glee, which is a good way to describe what its like to experience this single.

Part of the appeal of 'Hello Piano' is its nose-thumb to the Zeitgeist and its unabashed emotion. The obviously synthesized piano only adds to the flagrancy in that regard. Shimmering blissful and melodic, queue it up next to BT's 'Embracing The Sunshine' or the entirety of 'Ima', then pick up Hybrid's 'Wide(r) Angle' to finish things off. 'Hello Piano' is out now on Mistakes Music.

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