Artist: Bassetti
Title: Hour Glass
Label: Chug Records
By: Matthew Esler | 23 August 2002
  • A: Original Mix
  • B: Jas' L+L Sitting In A Tree Kissing Mix

Bassetti "Hour Glass"

Out Now on Chug Records

Jeremy Bassetti's new release on Chug Records is an absolute stormer. If you are looking for some progressive house that doesn't sound like a lot of other progressive house, then this would be a good place to start. Both the original and the remix from Philip Jason (Jas, Chonga) are complex, well produced and have a good sense of emotion to them. One side is funky, the other is deep and dark.

The beginning of "Hour Glass" is a nice mix in. A very basic, multi-layered beat that will go generally unnoticed in the mix, but sprinkled with harsh stabs, the odd spooky vocal sample, and a slowly building arrangement of high and mid range percussion. Most of the effects fade, and a chugging sound slowly builds us up to the drop of the very funky bassline.

The bassline is awesome. So funky, but with a serious edge to it, this bassline gives "Hour Glass" a more housey feel than a lot of progressive, which seems to be the way progressive house is heading these days. The bassline is in, and we have lost a few layers of effects. The track slowly fades down to a mini-breakdown and takes of again with more purpose and groove. This track is laden with scratching effects and syncopated percussion, and has a many-layered feel to it. Often this can make a track sound too busy for it's own good, but "Hour Glass" manages very nicely to build a groove on top of that funky bassline.

The percussion includes an occasional sharp wooden sound, which slowly build up it's own melody. The bassline and most of the percussion are removed for a short breakdown, after which the track stays empty, with only the original basic beat and the funky bassline and an effect hear and there.

One of the samples used (but rarely) in this part of the track is a squelchy sound that is exactly the same as one used in Timo Maas' "Eclipse". This sound, coupled with a spooky echoed synth make for a spooky feel. Layer by layer we are re-introduced to the groove, with a sweet progression of scratchy effects used to introduce various layers.

The main body of "Hour Glass" manages to sound a bit like it is speeding up (although it obviously isn't), which gives the track an excited feel. A flurry of effects signals arrival of another mini-breakdown, and this breakdown begins the mix out. Gradually and gracefully, the track empties out to nothing.

Jas' L+L Sitting In A Tree Kissing Remix, takes the track back into the darkness a bit, beginning with a much tougher and sharper thumping beat, and a more evil sounding set of effects. The squelchy effect and the synths have all been darkened and made harsher. Some of the percussion is sparser, but echoed, giving the track a more spooky feel.

Again, sweet use of multiple mini-breakdowns to introduce a new stage in the track. A rush of echoed spooky voices welcome the long and groaning deep techy bassline. Bit by bit, the frequency of effects increases, and the groaning bass changes to a more complex melody. A mournful, almost trombone-like sound begins to settle the mood of this mix of "Hour Glass", and does brilliantly in inducing an air of anticipation, to the point where the listener is very much expecting the longer breakdown that arrives next.

This lonely reverberating wail shifts from left to right and back, disappearing at the appearance of some very serious and heavily echoed throaty and incomprehensible female vocals. A scratchy wail is used to bring that beat back, and Jas' brilliant remix of "Hour Glass" grooves on again, slowly ebbing into the mix out.

This is an excellent record, with the original mix leaning on the slightly funky and housier side of progressive, and Jas' (aka Chonga) remix taking a more mournful and techy approach. Both sides are equally brilliant. The tracks are interesting, well produced and filled with feeling (whether it be the feeling of grooviness of the feeling of sadness), something lacking in many progressive tracks these days.

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