James Zabiela - The Healing

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  • I'd usually feel hard-pressed not to pour scorn on a label's debut release so full of high-profile, outsourced remixes. As it stands, the label boss and man behind the first Born Electric release, James Zabiela, has nothing to prove. His original begins promisingly enough, with ethereal, rapidly pulsating synths merging in lush harmony with breathy, baritone vocals and organic pads. However, the advent of Zabiela's own slightly wet vocal performance lets its credibility slip, further compounded by not one, but two crass lead synths. If remixes were to be the name of the game, you'd have wanted a stronger template. The remixes do, however, offer significant improvements. Ironically, coming top of the pile is Zabiela's own "85 Remix," which almost seems conscious of the original's weak points. Constructing a suitably chunky rehash in his own devastating breakbeat style, Zabiela ignores the vocals almost entirely and uses the original's flitting synth to add an emotive tinge to a solid framework. Hot Chip turn out an uncharacteristically severe effort, coating an already muffled amalgamation in an ominous, techy wax. Midland keeps things a little lighter, layering sparky synths over a thickset agile groove. UK bass producer Clubroot remains most faithful, integrating Zabiela's otherwise disused vocals into an intense palette of sweeping pads and two-step kicks.
  • Tracklist
      A1 The Healing A2 The Healing (Zabiela's 85 Remix) B1 The Healing (Hot Chip Remix) B2 The Healing (Midland Tape Remix)