Dan Sieg & Sam Wilkinson, better known as Dan & Sam, dazzled international
progressive fans and DJ's alike with their debut effort on our imprint,
"Breaking The Illusion." Not only did it receive great international DJ
support, but the single also went on to reach #2 on the Beatport Trance
release chart, as well as earn a spot on Max Graham's acclaimed "Cycles 4"
compilation [Armada]. Their sophomore effort, "Walls," is another ornate
and melodic progressive gem. This time around, they have recruited
promising vocal talent Maxx Hennard, whose rich baritone adds a warmth and
"sophisticated" sentimentality to the track. The one and only remix in the
package comes courtesy of American sensation Shawn Mitiska, whose decorated
veteran career includes numerous solo hits, most recently "Salt"
[Enhanced]. Supported on countless occasions by Armin Van Buuren, amongst
other top international DJ's, Shawn Mitiska has been a truly humbling
addition to our label roster this past year, with standout remixes on
Schodt's "Heatwave" and Shingo Nakamura's "Whither." His work here, a vocal
rendering of "Walls," affirms that he truly possesses a remarkable talent
for crafting intelligent and uplifting peak-hour tunes.
The Original Mix by Dan & Sam kicks off with a lush chord progression, a
central motif of the track, and is soon joined by early echoes of Maxx
Hennard's stunning vocal. After a quick mini-break, the bassline pulls back
slightly, setting the stage brilliantly for Hennard's soulful and evocative
verse. The memorable lyrics culminate in the chorus with the line: "The
only walls we've got, are the walls we built ourselves." It's a
breath-taking moment, augmented by the gorgeous delayed vox and lead synth
lines that fill out the soundscape. In the drop, the central groove
teasingly returns with just the kick, followed soon thereafter by the
arrival of the full rhythm and (chorus hook) in full, anthemic force.
On remix detail, veteran talent Shawn Mitiska is always reliable,
especially when it comes to transforming more chilled progressive cuts into
club killers. Yet, one of Mitiska's greatest talents as a remixer is that
he is never compromises the musicality and emotional depth of a song in the
process. Rather, he builds off the rich soundscape created by Dan & Sam by
adding delicious new pads and synth layers, including a lovely piano line
to the main riff. Meanwhile, the groove is infused with some serious "hop"
and swing, and the vocal is meticulously processed, with subtle reverb and
delay, as well as various other FX scattered throughout the full-bodied
texture. In the main break, we are once again met by the euphoric choral
vox, backed by inspirational lead chords and pads.