RezKar, Above The Clouds

[Running Back]

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LWE’s Kuri Kondrak caught up with South Africa’s RezKar two weeks ago, noting the promise of big things to come. RezKar’s newest, one track backed by four remixes on the Running Back label, is significantly more assured, without quite seeming to realize the potential present in earlier efforts. There are a number of very good things in the original mix of “Above the Clouds”: pretty melodies that dance through artful synth arrangements, defying both hands in the air schmaltz and limpid disco house recombinations. This is a good trick to know, and the track generally betrays a good ear and considerate attention to musical quality. But carefully negotiating a divide that has at its one end Gui Boratto and its other Prins Thomas is an insufficient accomplishment for someone whose earlier output promised galloping individuality. If I’m above the clouds when listening to this, it’s more in the familiar way of a twice-weekly Ryanair commute than flying with the angels. These chord structures are too familiar, and the whole thing cries for the flourishes and risk that this producer has been capable of imprinting on his music before. “Above The Clouds” also runs the risk of sounding too close to recent efforts from Donnacha Costello.

The same dilemma affects a lot of the output on Gerd Janson’s Running Back. A loose affinity of taste governs the roster as much as a cut and dry sound. Some tracks — Prosumer’s “Brownstone,” Tensnake’s “In The End (I Want You To Cry)” — have capitalized on that tendency to stretch out towards greatness. But the label is a platform, not a uniform product in the way of Perlon, and that leads to the opportunity to slough off onto it mix fodder instead of outstanding music. Which is an utter shame considering the frequent quality of those who run this label and those who contribute.

John Daly sometimes falls into the same pattern as Running Back. He always shows huge potential but sometimes makes things that are less than the sum of their parts. This is one reason why his remix here should be celebrated. A lovely, questioning Moog riff animates the occasionally complacent original components and gives them an earthy weight and balance. When the track takes flight around the seven-minute mark, it seems to complete a far fuller and more committed narrative. For this reason, Daly’s remix is in a different league from Mystery Boy’s. The latter producer does a delicate job in adding dance floor bombast while staying close to the original. Unfortunately, the fine artifice Mystery Boy shows would have gone further if he had combined it with a fresh perspective on the original. I would wait on RezKar until he decides on a sound that can accommodate his voice, and slot effortlessly into the sets of his European counterparts. Otherwise, it would be too frustrating to see another talented producer subsumed into the flabby, homogeneous underbelly of contemporary boutique house.


Tweets that mention RezKar, Above The Clouds – Little White Earbuds --  on March 31, 2010 at 8:19 PM

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