Artist: Jamie Stevens
Title: The Wonder Of You EP
Remixers : King Unique
Label : microCastle
Cat No: MCSL031
Genre – Progressive House
Review by Andy Howarth
Jamie Stevens has certainly been proving himself to be hot property just lately. A string of exceptionally consistent productions has drawn him to the attention of the main man Digweed, and he’s even been featured on his ‘Live In…’ series of CD’s, put out on John’s own monolithic Bedrock label. As praise goes, that’s as good as it gets.
His new EP ‘The Wonder Of You’ plays out like demonstration of what this man is capable of right now. Dreamy bubbling synths meander away like something out of a Miyazaki film, and eventually break away to put the focus on a gorgeous guitar arrangement. As the elements begin to converge on each other, the beats crash back in and Jamie introduces the epic orchestrals. The word ‘cinematic’ is the only thing that springs to mind, as it is grandiose in appearance. Absolutely superb throughout.
In addition to this, one of my favourite producers, King Unique, has been drafted in to retouch this work of art. He’s taken it down a Tech-House route, but has left enough of the original elements in to keep it faithful. I love this rendition, it’s so colourful and full of life, and in a world of wrist-slitting Deep House and face-slapping ‘Romantic Techno’ this could just be enough to stop you unsubscribing from Beatport… Bravo indeed.
I’m pleased to inform you that we’re not even close to being finished yet either. ‘Dandelion’ picks up where ‘Wonder’ left off, and if you’re a fan of Four Tet’s brand of star-gazing electronica, you’re going to love this. Ethereal percussion and haunted Burial-esque vocals are the order of the day, and should you find yourself in need of some material to enthral a newly forming crowd of clubbers, you could do far worse than this blissful slice of Dance.
Last, but by no means least is EP finale ‘Lullaby pt. 1 & 2’. I’ve often felt the art of proper introductions is a lost one with DJs these days. Far too often people are so impatient and just smash straight into the beats without taking the necessary care to set the scene. This is exactly the sort of record I would love to hear before the bulk of a mix is put in place, primarily because it’s far more interesting than straight-up four-to-the-floor stuff. Put it this way, why serve your guests roast beef immediately, when you can tease their taste buds a little with a few carefully prepared entrées before the main event?
To summarise, this EP is exquisite. If you are in any way interested in quality underground Progressive House (and let’s face it, Beatport’s bastardisation of the genre would have given you every reason to lose faith in it) then get this bought. If you don’t find at least one record here that satisfies your craving, i’ll reimburse you myself.