Artist: Somnus Corp
Title: Black Magic Love
Label: Adjust Recordings
By: Nick Williams & Brandon Wade | 16 January 2006
  • 1. Original Mix
  • 2. Visionary Mix
  • 3. BP Zulauf Mix

Somnus Corp "Black Magic Love"

Out Now on Adjust Recordings

In 2000, Somnus Corporation was formed by three Mexican up-and-comers, Gabriel Sordo, Jorge Lopez and Beto Rodriguez. Beto, with over 13 years of experience in the Guadalajara house music scene, has been a key component in the promotion of the deep Mexican house sound. Jorge Lopez has had live music performances in Guadalajara spanning almost 2 decades. The baby of the bunch, Gabriel Sordo, is a relative newbie compared to his Somnus partners. With only 6 years as a DJ, he has already been making quite a stir all over Mexico and the world with his deep, dark and ambient vibe. That vibe has allowed him to play along side some of the worlds best DJs including Sasha, John Digweed, Hernan Cattaneo and Sander Kleinenberg, just to name a few. With releases on CPRecordings, Intrinsic, Pangea, Amniotic and 3Beat records, the last 5 years have been a whirlwind for the production trio.

The first mix of 'Black Magic Love' exemplifies that dark, dreary feel Somnus has become known for. We could both picture Mosic and Hernan rocking this track, as they have. Immediately, the vibe slices straight to our core. The hair on the back of our neck stands up. Goose bumps. One thing that is apparent very early is the quality of the production. Great reverb. This track is at home in a huge club, although that awesome reverb would make any club sound huge. Low slung with a hauntingly raw bassline. We feel dirty. Waves of sparkles and echos create a surging feel, you find yourself swimming in the atmosphere. As the track progresses into its groove, you find yourself undulating with the kick and that raw, dark bass. That undulating feel maintains itself through the entire track. Minimal percussion tracks hold the majority of the progression. The percussion and bass become thicker and act to take the feel out of that atmosphere. From there on, the track chugs along to its finish. To us, this track could have used just a touch more progression and a slight reduction in length, just to trim the fat.

The Visionary mix keeps that creepy vibe alive, and we are pleased to say that a woodblock makes an appearance also. We are happy about that. We got a fever….and the only prescription is more… woodblock. That hot and dark atmosphere from the Original is carried into this mix, however, it is focused on hard hitting percussion much more. This track will act more to fill your dancefloor than the first mix. As we enter the first breakdown, we notice it is much more epic, as we wait for something to happen. Something does happen, and we drop straight into a thick, pulsing bass sound that takes center stage. Dub-inspired stabs and an organic sounding vocal synth match each other and create a little groove in its own right. As the track comes to a close, a sound much like a spaceship powering down makes an appearance bringing the energy slowly down with it.

That spaceship sound is looped and creates the atmosphere for the BP Zulauf Mix in this package, along with the breathy vocoded voices from the Original and Visionary mixes. Filtered percussion bring depth to the sound field, as it seems like they are far away. A rumble of a bassline comes in and gets the track going, but the loopy nature of the initial ambiance makes this seem a bit boring. Some growls and low filtered stabs add a bit of variation, but are not apparent enough for the average listener. Four minutes into this song, we feel like there is still something missing. As we enter the break, we pray that the energy is brought up, because to be honest, we wouldn't be dancing right now. Don't get us wrong, this track does have its place, but the monotony of this mix means it doesn't do anything for us.

If you are a fan of minimal, tribal inspired house, than this is your cup of tea. The original is the strongest mix of this release, from the thick mood, raw bass, and mellow groove that is created. As we mentioned before, the BP Zulauf Mix from this package really leaves a lot to be desired for us, but the Original and Visionary Mixes pick up the slack.

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