Soma 326d is the latest EP release taking a retrospective look at some of the catalogue through the varied filter of remixing. A number of talented producers and DJs have so far given some classic catalogue tracks new life and energy and this release conforms to these high standards.
Three remixes show the depth of talent associated with Soma and the eclectic nature of music, which is still being produced. There is something of a Franco/American synergy to this EP with Gallic flair provided by DJulz and Paul Ritch turning in vibrant remixes, and Master H, another artist of the French persuasion providing the original resource for Paul Ritchs remix. The aforementioned American influence is provided by H foundation, who provide two-thirds of the source material to be reworked.
Californian House producers Halo and Hipp-E, working together under the H-Foundation moniker, have enjoyed a very successful collaboration with Soma since releasing their 2002 single Passage of time, followed with an acclaimed LP Environments in 2003 and further single So fine in 2004. It is their first release with Soma, which commands the attention of DJulz.
In this dynamic and varied remix of Passage of time Djulzs is able to call on influences varying from dub reggae to early acid house, with striking Jamaican vocal samples adding a depth to the remix, backed up by the tempered whistle sampling one would associate with early acid house and notably the subsequent production work of Andrew Weatherall. All this makes for a unique and well constructed remix which plays with form and provides a satisfying insight into both the original work and DJulzs own sounds.
Master H produced one album with Soma and was an approximate contemporary of the H foundation. Leaving a loving mark on the Soma imprint, this French producer has left plenty of valuable material in the catalogue, notably Magic K, which here gets the treatment from Paul Ritch. This remix is immediately immersive as the pounding kick drum and taut bass drive the initial sound. This track builds in depth and complexity as melodic lines merge with more ethereal synths, and with the introduction of unique and luscious guitar sampling we are taken to a more atmospheric, deeper sound. The track continues to apply dynamic shifts as it swirls down through the haze of melody and atmosphere to a powerful finale, supporting those strong guitar samples.
In highlighting the prominence of American and French artists on this EP we must not forget the powerful and diverse remix added to the mix by German pairing Klartraum, who focus on H foundations Slayin' the Dragon. Deep blue sub bass immediately grabs the attention, then slowly filters up combining with soft and emotive chords that hold a dubby influence. The archetypal Klartraum percussion joyfully plays with the original horns in the back ground adding depth, texture and atmosphere.