Review – John Debo makes his debut on Sound Avenue

Artist: John Debo
Title: Reticent Hues
Remixes: Dustin Nantais & Deepfunk
Label: Sound Avenue
Catalogue Number: SA050
Release Date: Unknown
Genre: Progressive/Techno

Dominique Heyninck’s label, Sound Avenue celebrates its 50th release with a release by none other than John Debo entitled “Reticent Hues”. For those of you that have been brought up with the progressive sound will already be aware that John was a huge influential character in the development of electronic music in the USA. John founded two of Boston’s pioneering night spots, Chrome and Avaland which will well know for bringing forward thinking DJs from around the globe. Two names that often featured at said nights were Sasha and John Digweed! John’s own productions have found themselves onto labels such as Bedrock Records, FFRR, and Mindwarp Records. This release is John’s debut on Sound Avenue and comes loaded with two remixes by Dustin Nantais and Deepfunk.

First up is John’s original track which is filled with dark ethereal soundscapes and effects, all of which are layered on top of a deep moody groove, and some superb percussion. The low end on this track is superbly dubby, and the synths create an almost whirling building sound. Certainly a track I can imagine any of the big progressive DJs being all over like a rash. Awesome track!

The first rework comes from Malta based producer, Malcolm Abdilla aka Deepfunk. We have featured a few of his releases on the site including his recent album “Imagination Creates Reality”, and his label Sixtysevensuns continues to go from strength to strength. Malcolm’s interpretation begins in a subtle manner that is filed with layered keys that creates a blanket of melody. It is one of those progressive tracks that draws you in from the very beginning which it’s warm pads and droplet like, plink plonk keys. I strongly believe this man is up there with the likes of Max Cooper in terms of studio skills. He creates such an energy and warmth from his work! This is another stellar production from one of my favourites at present.

The final remix comes from a man I have seen grow considerably over recent months with some great releases on the likes of Manual Music, Perspectives Digital, Proton Music and Stripped Recordings. Dustin picks up the pace a little from the other two productions, and his track is definitely aimed more at the dance floor. The way he effects the vocal creates an almost old school vibe about it, and the reworked bass keeps the track on that funky progressive tip. Dustin weaves in some delightful warm keys that lift the track, and generally makes things a lot happier. The percussion used after the break create an almost house vibe that compliments all the elements so well. This is another great remix from a man that is building quite the back catalogue already, and he is a producer I suggest you all start to take note of.

A solid release from Sound Avenue that is no doubt a 3 track progressive affair. There is no doubt in my mind that this label is one of the finest progressive labels around at present, and one I often turn to! Go check out this release people!


Ian French
About the Author

Director and DJ, Ian French (Naif) is passionate about every genre of music from Breakbeat, to Drum & Bass, to Techno and Progressive House. If he was to describe his preferred style of music he would probably describe it simply as electronic music. Besides his love for music and DJing his other passions are fine cuisine, wine, and travel.