Artist: Josh Gabriel
Title: Tone Program
Label: Different Pieces
By: Carleton Neil | 12 October 2008
  • A: Original Mix
  • B: Style Of Eye Mix

Josh Gabriel "Tone Program"Josh Gabriel "Tone Program"

Out Now on Different Pieces

If you believe that minimalism sits front and centre in today's scene then Josh Gabriel just may be the black sheep of the family. It is evident with past productions like 'Wave 3' and 'Alive' that he prefers to stay in high gear. "We make music with lyrics and choruses, music that is emotive with melodies and meaning," says Josh of his collaborations with Dave Dresden. While the duo of Gabriel & Dresden is no more, it is apparent that Gabriel is willing and able to apply that mantra to his own productions. The first single off his artist album 'Summit' was a syncopated sprint and the latest single 'Tone Program', out now on Gabriel's label 'Different Pieces' has no problem wearing a similar hat.

Somewhere between the rotund kicks and buck and tumble percussion of Gabriel's original mix, there is enough room for a glitchy synth to bubble its way to the rim of the track, squeaking out melody to carve in phrasing. The morphing synth changes shape in the first catch-your-breath breakdown, shimmering and quivering as Gabriel introduces a faint bassline underneath, with a breezy, gently pitch-shifted fill billowed on top. It is now that the track accelerates, moving forward with a thicker layer of hats that cements in the counterpoint. Gabriel moves the bassline to the forefront of the track, meeting with a hollow mid-frequency synth in the breakdown to warm the listener to the chord progressions to come. The pivotal moment comes when Gabriel drops the percussion, bringing back the climbing melodies and warm fuzzies from when trance wasn't a dirty word. But forget the snare rolls and cheap thrills: you won't find them here. Instead the synths switch up again and build tension with new fills as the track climaxes.

If not ironic, then how fitting it is for Josh Gabriel to pass off a remix of 'Tone Program' to Sweden's Style of Eye. His brand of tech and electro is a welcome complement to the original mix, completing the release by reigning in the original’s pace to a clunky trot that clatters and bleats. The fills feel a little softer around the edges, bleeping through just off the beat and the mix opens up after tripping up a flight of loose snares and into a dark hole. A welcome surprise comes in the breakdown with a small symphony creating chord progressions between syncopated pizzicato and sustained strings, but they are buzzed into desolate oblivion as the chirping synths and fills take over the mix, carrying it back to the percussion that opened the mix.

When someone is getting plays from John Digweed, Danny Howells and Sander Kleinenberg, it may be worth your time to tune your ears toward what is coming down the pipe. 'Tone Program' is chunky and fun, sure to get a crowd going if not peaking their evening. Combined with the more sombre Style of Eye remix which rounds out the single stylistically, 'Tone Program' is another from Josh Gabriel you'll definitely want to pick up. Stay on the look out for Andain's debut artist album produced by Gabriel, as well as his own artist album 'Eight'; both are due out imminently.

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