Artist: Nick Warren & Jimmy Van M
Title: The One And Only
Label: Hope Recordings
By: Antonella Sirec | 16 December 2006
  • A: Original Vocal Mix
  • B: Dub Mix

Nick Warren & Jimmy Van M "The One And Only"

Out Now on Hope Recordings

Two names in dance music today that need no introduction are Nick Warren and Jimmy Van M. Between them, they have created some of the most sublime releases over the last decade which are still sought after by music fans around the world. Whether as part of Way Out West or on his own, Nick Warren continues to be a force in the industry and respected by his legion of fans. While being quiet over recent times, Jimmy Van M came back this year with the release of his eponymous Balance 10 compilation and once again showing us why he's the master. Joining forces for the first time, the two are set to destroy dance floors everywhere with the release of their collaboration, 'The One & Only'.

The vocal version of 'The One & Only' opens slyly with a minute swirling synth as the melody, with an underlying beat, slowly grows in volume. Very soon the main beat makes a forceful entrance as a twangy bass begins to almost crawl into the track. The overall feel soon deepens to give the listener a hint as to what lays a head. This really is only a teaser because as the bass turns into a richer sounding vibration, the tempo picks up dramatically and the very nature of the tune becomes apparent. Still maintaining that melody, 'The One & Only' deviates at slight points with varying synths and sound effects but all the while riding that rich bass. Weaving in and out is a distorted string sample while interspersed with sweeping synths before a subtle breakdown and key change heralds a change in the track's feel as the wonderful vocals of Jennifer Horne come to the foreground. Combining all those melodics with the vocals of this talented singer was a stroke of genius as far as I'm concerned. Just when you thought you knew what this was all about, it all changed and you're carried away to another plateau. The vocal and melodies continue for only a short time as a quick lull comes in before the track takes off again on that infectious tempo. With just over a minute left, the vocals subside and the various layers of sound begin to gradually minimize before ending altogether.

I don't think there are enough words in the English language that I could use to describe how much I love this release. From the very first listen, I was quite literally gob smacked. There are no complexities to 'The One & Only' and as such, no pretensions. But what you do have here is a stunning composition that is not ashamed to be a piece of pure dance music. While there is distinct nod to the progressive side of house, this is a track that encompasses both the old and new facets of house music and quite successfully. I can't remember the last time I got out of bed at 4am just to listen to one tune but that's exactly what happened. To say that I'm enjoying this release, is being far too mild.

On the flip side we find the dub version of 'The One & Only'. Obviously, this is very much like the vocal version but without the vocals. That same catchy melody and that hypnotic bass are still here and are still as appealing but probably even more so as these elements are now centre stage. I was quite concerned that the track would lose some of its impact without those majestic vocals but where they were initially laid, there a slightly melodic nuances that add a certain diversity to the overall sound. More often then not, a main vocal release is not always accompanied by a dub but when it is, it can sometimes outshine its predecessor if the vocals are less then ordinary. In this particular case, both the vocal and the dub versions compliment each other perfectly.

I wouldn't be happy with my review if I didn't make mention of the Group Therapy remix for this track. While not being a part of the main release because it will be a digital only product, I feel that strongly about it that I'm going to include it. The Group Therapy remix takes the fundamentals of the vocal mix and turns it into something that absolutely booms. While the bass is still the dominant part of this tune, the vocals have been proportioned over the duration of the track while at specific points, bass is filtered in such a way that you almost think you're falling into a bottomless pit. For me, the overall sound of this remix is dark and often brooding but with a touch of the perverse. This particular version of 'The One & Only' will do either one of two things: it will either blow your clothes off when the full force of the track hits you or on a more subtle turn, it'll make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. This is a huge remix and I have no doubt that it is going to be extremely popular. Get ready to see this on just about everybody's track listings in the new year.

The fact that something that's conceptually so simple can sound so superb is a credit to the talents of Nick Warren and Jimmy Van M. Their many years of experience shines in a more then positive way on this release. 'The One & Only' is not a complex sounding track but the way in which the melody and bass combines with the beat and then is further enhanced by Jennifer Horne's inspiring vocals is a work of sheer beauty. That would have been enough for me but then Group Therapy take something that I thought was already perfect and made it into an even better tune, a tune that's going to quite literally murder people in a club environment. After everything that I've written in this review, there are only a couple of words that can simply describe this release: it's stellar!

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