Amirali, Beautiful World

[Crosstown Rebels]

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Crosstown Rebels has been slowly expanding its remit over the past 12 months, branching out its web of bubbly pop house to include producers like Mathew Jonson. The newest addition to its roster is Toronto-based Amirali, whose “Beautiful World” strikes a perfect median between dance and pop, a full vocal house tune sung by a thickly accented, eyeliner-sporting, brooding male singer. The vocal’s almost post-punk qualities are at odds with the track’s effervescent disposition, as its bouncy-ball bass line weaves around synths and chords that plot out three different ascending and descending melodies. It’s a lesson in spacing and mixing prowess where complex phrases intertwine rather than collide, all pushed along by the track’s workmanlike kicks. The vocal — as mournfully tinged as it is — singing about “a beautiful world” is cheesy as all hell, honestly, but thrown in with such an uplifting track it’s nothing less than totally effective.

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Amirali gets three different re-interpreters to three equally different results. Daniel Bortz turns the song into exactly the kind of bass-heavy, topsy-turvy groover you might expect from Crosstown Rebels or any of its like-minded brethren, pitching down the vocals in the process, while Hrdvsion steps in to give the track a chintzy makeover that sounds more like plucky Casio electro than anything else, losing track of the song’s warm, inviting low-end. But it’s fellow Crosstown Rebel Deniz Kurtel who provides the best remix, gutting the song’s horizontal plateau and replacing it with a cycling, rough-and-tumble progression that pushes the song higher one upper-cut at a time. It’s simultaneously slower but even more vigorous, and when it plateaus with those big-room static chords, it’s the kind of intensely satisfying finish that can only come from slow-burn. “Beautiful World” is an intriguing debut from a brand new name, and while it would have been interesting to hear more originals from Amirali, when we’ve got something as good as Deniz Kurtel’s remix, it’s hard to complain.

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