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Sunday, 12 October 2014

Hamza & Audio Units - Chez Guru

    Chez Guru
    La Lune
    Chez Guru (Spirit Catcher Remix)
    La Lune (Satya Hinduja Remix)

New Delhi’s Wind Horse Records has established itself as an Indian house music staple. As such, collaborations and wonderful guest remixers sometimes just seem to fall into place. These circumstances lead to Hamza and Audio Units linking up during an extended stay while Hamza was on tour, resulting in a week-long studio session that birthed two unexpected but totally organic deep house originals in “Chez Guru” and “La Lune”. Likewise, Indian remixer Satya Hinduja crossed paths with Hamza spontaneously in NYC. Meanwhile, Spirit Catcher’s introduction to the label as remixers is more deliberately part of an effort by Wind Horse to incorporate more remixers from the west in a two-way global relationship.

Audio Units consists of Bangalore-based brothers Ashwin Baburao (AKA Inferno) and Ashrith Baburao. They’ve been developing their sound impressively and at a fast pace with previous releases and remixes on the likes of 3am Recordings, Bermudos, and Dutchie Music as well as Wind Horse. The pair have been active for ten years DJ’ing at festivals and venues throughout India, making them some of the top ambassadors for the deep house sound. Wind Horse records owner Hamza’s productions have been inspired by his own travels and life on three different continents. These sounds have led to a prolific five years for the Indian producer, with over a hundred recorded tracks, and singles for the likes of legendary German label Kompakt and New York-based deep house imprints King Street, Nite Grooves, and Open Bar Music.

With their backgrounds in mind, the meeting between Audio Units and Hamza is that of two Indian house heavy weights, if not royalty, and the results reflect this. “Chez Guru” gets its title from Ashrith’s nickname ‘Guru’ and the french word for ‘in the home of,’ basically a stamp for the place of the studio meeting. The vocals are also in French, which somehow always seems to lend an understated cool to any track, but when accompanied by slick productions such as these collaborators’ it becomes undeniably clear. The bass sounds are the foundation for “Chez Guru”, with two different levels responding to, and sometimes talking over, each other. The pads and key stabs are swirling, funky, and deep as ever except for wild, climatic moments perfectly paced throughout. Hand percussion finishes things off with a NY house style groove.

What “La Lune” doesn’t have in backstory, it makes up for in bounce. It is the edgier cousin to “Chez Guru”, once again dominated by a wonderfully rich bass sound. The drums are crisp and the highest percussive elements are sharp. A deep, echo-drenched synth line haunts most of the song. Leads and other rhythmic effects are introduced to accent the bass line. Tension is heaviest at the track’s two breaking points, both of which the full groove absolutely explodes out of, clearing the way for dancing frenzies.

The Belgian duo of Jean Vanesse and Thomas Sohet, better known as Spirit Catcher, have an impressive production career spanning labels like 20/20 Vision, NRK, and Freerange. Fans of Wind Horse are likely to be familiar with the two, and they look to further connect with their Indian followers on their remix of “Chez Guru”. A lot of elements from the original remain, but they are more drawn out in a way that really highlights the funky nature of the song. This is the true magic of remixes, when they exaggerate themes which leave the listener’s perception of the original forever changed. Highlighting another exciting aspect of remixes, Satya Hinduja delivers the release’s icebreaker when she enters “La Lune” into a totally dreamy state – a much moodier and completely different direction from the original. Satya is a renaissance woman, combining her passion for music into the roles of composer, film scorer, educator, DJ / promoter, and now deep house and techno producer. She currently splits her time between her home town of Mumbai and New York. While her artistic footprint has evolved from eastern traditional to underground deep house and techno, her spiritual vision is molded by a flawless blend of the two. Her remix is an ethereal evolution of melodies that is sure to send any listener over the moon. It is cinematic and beautiful for any moment, but will likely prove extremely touching in late night DJ sets.

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