In September 2016, Polish superstar producer and long-time friend of Proton, Kobana unleashed his three-track, "Boyhood" EP to critical acclaim. We now return to the release with a trio of remixes from Greece, the Netherlands and USA.
A child of the 1980s, Nikko.Z has blossomed into one of the underground dance scene's most respected artists. A Greek native, Nikko's exploration into the world of electronic music saw an early DJ career underpinned by his studies at the SAE International Institute, Athens. A regular across the clubs of his home country, and abroad, Nikko's production career has seen his work allied to a plethora of highly acclaimed labels that include Movement, Lowbit and his own, successful, Dopamine imprint. Supported by the DJ elite that includes Cattaneo, Warren and Digweed, Nikko.Z's 2012 Proton debut was complemented by the standout "Sungazing" EP in June 2015. Now, returning to the label, the Nikko.Z remix of "Together" takes Kobana's original and turns it into a huge pounding, techno offering that makes intelligent use of the Pole's remix parts. Driving relentlessly forward with hypnotic precision, the vocal phrasing from the original forms part of the percussive backdrop as the key melodic riff takes an innovative new path. Full of additional production material and melodic verve, Nikko's remix is a work of ingenuity and skill.
Dutch pair, Huminal, have ridden the crest of a sonic wave over the past eighteen months. As talented as they are affable, Paul Deetman and Jelle Jansen have delighted audiences with a unique brand of music that has kept them at the cutting edge of modern underground dance through rich analogue melodies and growling filtered basses. Able to call upon Hernan Cattaneo, Marc Romboy and Umek as fans of their work, the duo has seen their sound find favour with a host of impressive imprints, not least in Mango Alley, Lowbit and Visceral. Regulars on Proton Music, the 2015 "Knocking on the Sky" and 2016 "We Dwell in the Past" EPs have been remarkable highlights. Now returning for a third remix by reworking "Anna", the rippling, evolving melodies of Kobana are well suited to the Huminal sound as their distinctive remix builds elegantly, gradually revealing components of the original, surrounded by a mesmerising collection of additional production material. By the third movement a dominant rhythmic backdrop and filtered melodies erupt in joyous harmony to an epic denouement.
Mark Slee is no stranger to the world of dance music. A sought-after DJ around the clubs of his San Francisco hometown and beyond to "Burning Man" and Cape Town, the US producer has gathered a legion of admirers that have grown further through his number one ranked, "Heron Sound" show on Proton Radio. A producer of redoubtable talent, Slee's work for Looq, Cityfox and Submarine Vibes has been impressive, as has his stewardship of the rapidly rising Manjumasi imprint with co-owner, Atish. A trio of remixes for Proton Music thus far, now sees Mark Slee return for a welcome fourth as his remix of "LoHi" skilfully takes the fundamental characteristics of Kobana's track and transforms them into a deliciously lilting affair, accentuated by a laid-back groove and percussive flow. Intelligently reworking original components into a new melodic envelope, Slee's trademark freeform motifs are in full evidence post-breakdown with his "Plastic Piano Mix" an impressive addition to the package.
Three new remixes have seen Kobana's work mature from "Boyhood" to adulthood via the work of Nikko.Z, Huminal and Mark Slee.
Directed by Jay Epoch AandR by James Warren Mastered by Nikko.Z, Cid Inc. Design by Ben Mautner Text by James Warren