Longtime Clone staple Martijn Hoogendijk (aka Alden Tyrell) usually produces the sort of steroid-injected, electro-tinged Italo disco that’s come to characterize the Rotterdam scene. Like many of his labelmates, Hoogendijk is more than willing to experiment with different genres, and Touch The Sky shows him adapting to the Jack For Daze Series, dedicated to first-wave Chicago house. With that mission statement in mind, it’s unsurprising that the record doesn’t offer anything particularly new.
Hoogendijk pits a persistently weaving acid line against a pumped-up disco thump, leaving plenty of room for Clone favorite Mike Dunn to toast on top. Dunn was previously remixed by Hoogendijk on Murphy Jax’s 2010 Jack For Daze outing, It’s the Music, and perhaps this is where the producer got the idea for “Touch the Sky.” The tracks are remarkably similar, both bare-bones acid cuts with Dunn alternately scatting and spouting party-friendly platitudes, i.e. “I like the way you move it.” In spite of this, it’s hard to hate a track so singularly aimed at a good time. Dunn may have been roped in because of his godfather status, but at least he doesn’t use his pedestal to grandstand about how “house is a nation” or anything like that. Gerd’s remix shifts Hoogendijk’s arrangement to a stricter house framework, leaving the chief elements mostly as they are. Finally, Hoogendijk teams up with label head Serge to give the track a U.S. garage twist, reducing the vocals to stutters and adding snare rolls and flamboyant organ stabs. Jack For Daze may be rehashing its own material here, but should one expect more from a label so rooted in the retro?