Review – Luis Junior returns on Manual Music

Artist: Luis Junior
Title: Pink Clouds
Label: Manual Music
Cat No: MAN158
Release: Unknown
Genre: Deep House/Progressive

Luis Junior makes his return on Manual Music after the release of last years’ Karma Calling EP which was one of the bigger selling singles on the label in 2014. Pink Clouds is destined to head the same direction, as the original already got licensed to Eelke Kleijn’s new Toolroom Live CD compilation! Luis’ career spans over two decades with his first release dating back as far as 1995. All this time, and he still manages to keep on top of the game, proved by the fact that he’s still touring the world until this day.

Pink Clouds is a gentle, subtle and brilliantly crafted deep progressive track that will appeal to many DJ’s and electronic music lovers around the globe. Van Did and Beat Syndrome – both from Canada – each make an interpretation that is well worth your attention too. Another awesome addition to the discography of this skilled Spaniard.

The original track opens with a tremelo-d synth line and instantly reminded me of the discography of the great Border Community. Winsome and measured, this is far removed from the type of dance floor rocking club tracks you may know Luis for. This is delicate and layered, and shows the musicalaity of a very accomplished producer. And if I were to pick a hole in the track it would only be the arrangement of elements post break – I dont think they work. The DJ in me wants a beat for the kids to dance to, but Luis teases us. Joyful and full of hope, this is something you open a mix magnificently.

Canada has long been a hot bed of progressive talent. Here two of those talents give opposing sonic ideals of the rich and musical original track. Van Did opts to keep the vibe of the original intact added different percussion to make it more dance floor friendly, and dropping the key of the stab hits to make them sound a little more sinister. Beat Syndrome instead work in a wonderfully tribal angle and completely rearranges it to be more Hernan Cattaneo than James Holden (if you know what I mean). Theres some clever techniques here, not least the question/answer of the hat lines which adds tension and interest. This ones my pick of the three, but to be honest the others are equally good.