Rikki Sawyer gets numb (on the inside)

Artist : Rikki Sawyer
Title : Numb (On The Inside)
Label : Balkan Connection
Release : July 20th 2015
Genre : Progressive House

From time to time I get to hear some really fresh new music and become aware of artists I’ve not really had much contact with. One of those occasions happened this weekend when the A&R from Balkan Connection – Ivan Filipov sent me an absolute beast of a release. Set up in 2007 by Ogi Gee Cash off the back of his successful Proton radio show, the label has forged a deep farrow in the underground progressive scene with regular plays and support from many A list DJs.

Irishman Rikki Sawyer has been quietly plugging away under the radar of the average dance fan, but his strong productions and attention to detail has not escaped us here at Decoded Magazine. A regular in the charts of Hernan and gang, his sound is exciting cutting edge progressive, and a delight to both play and hear. The release will be split over two parts, this first pack contains the original, dub, and remixes from Rasti Tkac and Subconscious Tales. Part two will feature remixes from Lateral Cut Groove, Andrew Best and GH.

So to the track. The original is a deep, soulful vocal cut brimming with class and joie de vivre. Classically progressive with its view firmly forward; as the deep and satisfying sine wave bass kicks in to underpin the whole production, my ears are instantly engaged. The vocal itself it brilliantly engineered and full of promise of new love, and allowing that person into their heart. The whole thing is uplifting and inspiring, and the vocal edits and one shots smack of an engineer of great skill and musicality. Summery and happy, this will no doubt form part of a great many DJs warm up to peak time sets. If the vocal doesn’t suit your style, theres a nifty dub version too which sounds very Charlie May like. Its my pick of the EP personally.

Starting off the remixes, Rasti Tkac takes on a bumpty bump ride. Its a lot darker than the original and its sinister bass line bubbles like a witches cauldron of sonic pleasure. The carefully selected percussive elements knit together to create a good groove and delicate stabs add drive to the track. The vocal is treated with a vocoder in this version which adds to the cleverly reversed and panned vocal effects. Very much a mid set tune, this will draw some attention due to its solid construction and high production quality.

Subconscious Tales is a new name to me, but this remix sounds like a guy with considerable studio craft. More upbeat than the original, we are taken for a wild ride into the world of tough progressive, where groove is king and melody is paramount. Imagine Oakenfold in the peak of his career at Cream, and you get an idea of what I mean. All in all a solid package and something for everyone. Can’t wait for part two!