Artist: Pat Foosheen
Title: The Unthinkable
Label: Institution Breaks
By: Jonathan Lisle | 27 April 2004
  • A: Original Mix
  • B: Habersham Mix

Pat Foosheen "The Unthinkable"

Out Now on Institution Breaks

Every now and then a track comes out which raises the game of its particular 'genre' by a few notches. An obvious example is BT's 'Embracing The Future' which, when it surfaced in 1993, improved the quality of progressive house for good. In my view, Habersham's remix of Pat Foosheen's 'The Unthinkable' has kicked the standard of the more progressive side of breakbeat through the roof. With the exception of a handful of records by long established producers, this is the best track I have heard in the last two years.

This piece of music has a very special magic. It has its own original atmosphere and has both intense emotion and intense energy, which is relatively rare for this sound. Habersham combines two extreme moods in a really clever way. For beauty, he uses dreamy pads and a strong piano line and for the underlying darkness he uses an angry bassline, nasty filter sweeps and granular synthesis (using the freeware, Granulab). This is epic soundtrack music but with a big enough sound and strong enough drums to destroy every dancefloor I've played it to... and I have played it in every single set for the last six months.

After building up using sparkling percussion, punchy and crisp snares and a solid kick, Habersham introduces a nice stabbing bass line at the end of every two bars. This was originally a percussive sound before it was distorted and EQ'd into bass. The track drops to the pads and when the beat kicks in after the first breakdown, the angry bass comes in and the track immediately stands out from the rest. Long single notes using a sound from the Yamaha Motif 6 which has been distorted and compressed into a real growler. A proper finger pointer...

For the middle section, futuristic sounds bounce off each other nicely and are layered with lush warm pads leading to one of the most beautiful breakdowns you will ever hear. After the drop, a single piano note is held for two bars which repeats, and then played into this class little 6 note riff which loops as the drums build up to it all kicking back in. After the break, rather than just repeat the same piano riff, it opens up into a full melody for the high point of the track. When I first heard this section I played it on repeat over and over again. It still gives me goose bumps.

Habersham wrote most of this remix in one night at his home in Atlanta and has outclassed his contemporaries, not just in terms of mood, depth and vision but because of his raw production skills. Each sound sits perfectly next to the other in the mix which I find is rare for home producers, especially when it comes to snares, and Damon himself describes this as "a turning point in his career, and something a bit more emotional". I have no doubt he will be massive.

The 'Original Mix, by the excellent Pat Foosheen, is a cool deep and dark atmospheric track which cleverly combines 4 to the floor and breakbeat. The original has a great mood and a really nice sense of space. Pat is definitely another producer to watch out for.

Institution Breaks is one of my favourite labels at the moment so congratulations to them for this outstanding release.

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