Simon Shackleton’s next outing as Elite Force finds him remixing one of Hungary’s most influential underground figures to commemorate a significant milestone in the nation’s clubbing history. A mainstay of the Budapest scene, Metha runs the city’s hugely popular BeMassive parties and its eponymous record label. Over the years, he’s invited numerous topflight DJs to rock his events but he only had one person in mind to remix ‘Ugly Cowboy’, a track that marks two decades of BeMassive.
“It’s a sincere honour to celebrate BeMassive’s 20th anniversary alongside my idol, Elite Force,” said Metha. “This release is significant for me. It doesn’t just pay tribute to the musical legacy of the past 20 years but also celebrates our deep friendship. ‘Ugly Cowboy’ defines the sonic landscape of BeMassive to this day – dirty, massive and energetic.”
Indeed, Metha’s original is a full-blooded breakbeat workout that brings real energy to the dancefloor, with distorted bass blasting out below crisp, cantering drums and static electric fizzes that add more voltage.
Frankly, Shackleton is a perfect artist to add his take. His work as Elite Force pioneered this sound and though he’s a master craftsman of several styles, he never fails to deliver irresistible breaks. Here, he effortlessly compresses time with a tough floor filler that nods to the classic tech-funk era of the late noughties but swells with the full-frequency production techniques of 2023. Excitable vocal exclamations burst out of his re-rub while heavily processed sounds and a roaming, saw-tooth bassline keep things raw and hypnotic. With the tension mounting, a skewed and acidic lead synth busts out and sprays around the mix causing the best carnage.
“I’ve DJed for my good friend Metha for many years, playing at his epic BeMassive events in Budapest, and during that time I’ve seen his music evolve and flourish,” said Shackleton. “It’s a real privilege to create a remix for this milestone release and doing so under my Elite Force alias was the best fit for the original.
“Metha is one of those rare unsung heroes you occasionally meet when you travel the world,” added Shackleton. “He’s a legend in Hungary and is just as capable of filling dancefloors with tech-house and techno as he is with breakbeat or emotive house. There aren’t many DJs that can say that and, as such, he deserves a much bigger platform on the world stage.”