Blue Amazon – Interpretations Album review

Artist : Blue Amazon/ Ian Ossia
Title : Interpretations (LP Sampler)
Label : Convert Recordings
Cat No : CONLP001
Release : 14th July 2014
Genre : Progressive, Tech

When Lee Softley emailed me back at the beginning of the year that he was putting together a remix album with Ian Ossia DJing, I was intrigued. When I found out some of the remixers, I was positively beside myself with anticipation. And today, the super limited mixed album appeared in my promos inbox. To paraphrase Greed, it might be raining outside, but in my heart the weather’s fine!

The album has been called Interpretations and is very much a concept album in the mould of Sashas Involver series. Unlike that series though the lions share of the remixes have been provided by carefully selected producers from around the world. There are also some new Blue Amazon remixes on here too and shows that Lee still has his finger very much on the pulse of clubland. Lee Softley aka Blue Amazon burst onto the scene in the mid 90s alongside his then production partner James Reid with ground-breaking releases such as No Other Love and Four Seasons on Jackpot Records, The Javelin Album on Sony and Gobstopper Soundclash (with the Balouga Boys) on Dave Seamans’ first label, Stress Records. BA also has a string of highly acclaimed remixes from non-other than New Order, Bedrock, Skunk Anansie, Seal and Sasha.

Ian Ossia joins Lee to mix the album, bringing with him 20 years of dance floor shaking experience. Always a technically gifted DJ, Ian has added creative edits, FX and programming to the recordings to create a unique listening experience. The album will be released both in the digital & physical format. The physical format is a limited edition CD mix of the album by Ian Ossia. The digital release contains all the un mixed tracks from CD 1, the mixed version of CD 1 and a bonus CD2. The physical CD release is a special limited edition. You can keep up to date with gig news, where to buy the album and more information regarding the making of Interpretations by simply visiting http://www.interpretations.org.uk

For anyone familiar with Ian’s body of work, you will know he can create a rich sonic tapestry in your mind and thats exactly whats on offer here. Theres none of that playing it safe rubbish, this is a mix which grabs the listener firmly by the balls and shows the DJ having the best time of his life. The first track, Unite is an upbeat call to arms and sets the pace for this album. It continues apace with the introduction of some carefully cut up vocal effects before the wonderful Silinder remix of Four Seasons is unleashed. Silinder, who rose to fame following posting a series of remixes of James Zabiela’s Robophobia has impressed me with every release and this is no exception. His fluid progressive style really appeals to me and his productions are always top drawer. Following more delays and studio FX, Ian gives us the first real high point of the CD with a breaks mix of The Lights go Out. Crisp drums and an elastic sawtoothed bass line make this attack really bounce along. No-one makes progressive breaks like this anymore, which is a shame.

No progressive mix would be complete without multiple versions of the same song and what a song to choose! Probably the most well known of all BA productions – No Other Love, gets two bites of the apple in its In Progress and Hernan Cattaneo/Martin Garcia versions. Both utilise the rich vein of synth work from the original and more than adequately update this stone cold classic providing the CD with its second high point. The pace through out this CD has been pretty intense and that will please more than just the old prog heads like me. This is a party album; something equally adept to put on to get ready to or to play once back home where the real party starts. The thing which struck me the most was the incredible level of production throughout. Crisp clean drums and percussion lines nestle alongside soaring synths and dirty phat baselines a trademark of the BA sound of old. Indeed the new remixes sit snuggly aside the original versions such are their quality. The finale to the mix version is the irrepressible Stella, originally by Jam El Mar and Mark Spoon, but here lovingly recreated by Skyroom and remixed by Lee

For those that remember, this will be a trip down memory lane filled with new treats and surprises. For those that are new to Blue Amazon, this will be an education; a chance to hear real progressive house and a chance to understand why us older music fans are so up in arms at the state of the scene today. In short this is a celebration of a very British sound, a sound developed way back in 1992 that is as fresh and future proof today as it was back then.

Bravo Lee and Ian. Its all smiles and Sunshine here at TIP towers!

Track List for Continuous Mix by Ian Ossia
Ian Ossia – Intro
Blue Amazon – Unite (BA Fire Trax Mix)
Blue Amazon – Four Seasons (Kiz Pattison Samples)
Blue Amazon – Four Seasons (Silinder Remix)
Blue Amazon – The Lights Go Out (BA Breaks Mix)
Atlantic Drift Ft. Angelic – Save Me (BA Vocal Mix)
Hernan Serrao vs. Dirty Rhythm Syndicate – Blue Moon (BA Mix)
Blue Amazon – No Other Love (In Progress Remix)
Blue Amazon – No Other Love (Hernan Cattaneo & Martin Garcia Remix)
Blue Amazon – The Fix (Original)
Skyroom – Live Your Life (BA Tech Housing Mix)
Blue Amazon – Don’t Be Afraid of Love (Original)
Feed On Digital – Extraction (BA Remix)
Skyroom – Stella (BA Remix)
Ian Ossia – Outro

Unmixed Digital Only Bonus Tracks
Blue Amazon – And Then The Rain Falls (HaloBega Remix)
Blue Amazon – And Then The Rain Falls (Alex Aguilar Remix)
Blue Amazon – Your Voice (BA Deep Mix)
In Progress – Magic Dimension (Blue Amazon Remix)
Blue Amazon – Dont Be Afraid Of Love (Blue Amazon Tech Mix)
Blue Amazon – Dont Be Afriad Of Love (In Progress Mix)
Mal Black – Fire (Blue Amazon Remix)
Blue Amazon – No Other Love (Feed On Digital Remix)
Blue Amazon – No Other Love (Tini Tun Remix)
Syzthaime – Refuge In The Mountains (Blue Amazon Fire Trax Remix)
Blue Amazon – Fire Trax 2 (Original)