Artist: Keith Mac
Title: Child's Play
Label: Baroque Records
By: Darren Rhys | 22 November 2006
  • A: Original Mix
  • B: Innate Edit

Keith Mac "Child's Play"

Out Now on Baroque Records

Baroque Records boast a long and impressive discography, with some of the hottest artists around gracing the label since it's conception at the turn of the millennium. At the helm of the project is Keith McDonnell, and while he's best known for his label management, has also been known to grace the production studios himself. 'Child's Play' is a tough, proggy piece, and comes to us with an edit from Keith's alter-ego, 'Innate'.

Following on from Baroque's recent trend of offering tough, electro infused house music whilst still retaining their trademark progressive backbone, Child's Play starts promisingly with a monstrous kick drum and driving bass. As each of the several layers unfold, an impressive wall of sound is forged, with trippy elements fusing with acidic twists and evolving analog synths. These melodic elements hold their own alongside the pumping undercarriage of four-four beats and sharp hats, creating a solid piece of progressive house music of which fans of the sound are finding increasingly difficult to track down. There are some issues with the track from a production viewpoint which I felt could have made the track better, notably some interesting panning choices which slightly disrupt it's cohesiveness, but essentially what we have here is a complex yet highly enjoyable piece of tough house music from head-honcho McDonnell.

The 'Innate Edit' adopts a contrasting approach with an almost trancy feel. Layer upon layer of interesting melodic twists and growling arpeggios and synths are once again present, but in truth, resemblance to the original isn't instantly apparent. The track is well arranged, and throughout it's seven and half minutes manages to retain interest with subtle atmospherics and fx quirks fluttering in and out of the soundscape. A reverbed, metallic snare works nicely, supplementing an eery atmosphere. It's a decent outing which I'm sure will find favour with fans of this type of sound, yet fell short of being spectacular for me and perhaps doesn't stand up to some of the recent releases on the label.

This release adds to a train of releases spanning several years from a label showing no signs of dwindling. The track itself isn't the strongest Baroque offering to date, but manages to hold its own chiefly thanks to the sterling Original Mix. It's a piece of music which when all is said and done is hard to dislike, thanks to it's sense of optimism, plethora of melodic twists and turns and an overriding tough, relentless nature. I'm certainly keen on hearing Keith's future works, as while this effort does prompt misgivings from a production viewpoint, is quirky, interesting and definitely something which I'll be listening to for some time to come.

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