Artist: Retrobyte
Title: Going Down
Label: Organized Nature
By: Illya Zubaryev | 16 September 2006
  • A: Original Mix
  • B: Ozgur Can 'Down The Drain' Dub

Retrobyte "Going Down"

Out Now on Organized Nature

Although you may have never heard of Christopher VanderKolk or his artist moniker Retrobyte before, you are certainly going to in the future; near and far. At the tender age of 20 years, this creative fellow out of Michigan, USA is very quickly gaining popularity, respect and credit from DJs, producers and EDM aficionados; most significantly from acclaimed duo, Gabriel & Dresden. His major debut comes in the form of 'Going Down', which features the original production and a lovely dub from Özgür Can on the flip for company (with a slew of other remixes to be released as well).

As the original begins, we get introduced to the track’s simple but effective drum track; not over saturating the mix and playing its structural role very appropriately. Soon after, the main bass and synth lines follow and Chris’ own mellow yet beautiful vocals fade in as well. The latter element is probably the highlight of the song, as male vocal tracks of this sort are not common in dance music and the subtle effects and vocal layering truly make this piece of music complete. Arped bass and melody lines abound, the track builds in layers eventually breaking down to the lone vocal accompanied by rhythmic claps, delicate drums, and effects -- finally flying back into the song's climatic portion; which is full of energy, yet holds an emotionally fragile tone (as the lyrics indicate) at the same time. These days, it's not easy for young producers to be innovative, yet wonderfully accessible and enjoyable with their music. Furthermore, it takes something pretty special for Gabriel & Dresden to acclaim your song as "the find of the year" and the original mix of 'Going Down' is definitely not a let-down, but a work of splendour that is going to find its way into the record cases of many DJs and hit the dance floors of countless clubs.

Next up, we have something from a guy by the name of Özgür Can; you may have heard of him? Hailing from Stockholm, Sweden, he is known not only for his superb skills as a producer, but also as a remarkable DJ as well. Given the difference in music styles between Chris and Özgür, it would seem appropriate for Can's remix to be quite different. He certainly lives up to his standards of originality and quality, as he so often does, with an interesting and outlandish dub mix on the B-side. I noticed within the first minute that this mix has far more value for production enthusiasts and admirers than care-free clubbers. It is risqué, dark and looming; the intention clearly demonstrated with the removal of the vocal track, a big facet of the original mix, and in addition a reconstruction of the track in general; from the drum track to the synth sounds. A soft melody line still floats marvellously in and out of the tune, but the sample is entirely different, as is the mood. Özgür Can definitely uses his artistic freedom to the fullest with his mix, bringing forth an entirely different vision than that of VanderKolk. Ultimately, the B-side adds great value to this release and allows for far greater appeal to different listeners. Unlike many far more conservative remixes of hit tracks in electronic music, Özgür Can did what he wanted and he did it well.

In the end, I am certain that nearly everyone who has heard the original played in a club environment already has it on their wish-list. But if that wasn't enough, there is great value in the addition of a very imaginative dub mix from Özgür Can which makes this release delightfully attractive and well worth obtaining. Convincingly, this release is highly recommended for purchase.

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