- San Franciscan Dave Aju's summer breakthrough smash "Crazy Place" has a lot going for it—a languid, mid-tempo house groove, percolating percussion and a sneakily infectious melody line doubled up as a nifty vocal hook. But the "secret ingredient" is the real key to the track—Aju uses nothing but his own mouth as the one and only sound source, lending it one unique timbre after another.
It isn't all that noticeable at first, but with repeated listens, the individual quirks of the lip-spitting cymbals, the swooning background vocals and the wobbly retro synth lines all take on a certain intangible feel simply not heard on other records. This isn't a new trick by any means (see Matthew Herbert's Bodily Functions, for example), but Aju couples it with a killer tune and the combination elevates the proceedings to a level far beyond mere gimmickry.
Luciano's "Likuid" mix bucks the deep house trend that he's been following of late. In fact, this is more of a banger than we've heard from Luciano in quite a while; judging from the results, he should turn to it more often, as he really outdoes himself here. Veering 180 degrees from Aju's spacious, laid-back original, Luciano tosses in everything but the kitchen sink, deftly avoiding clutter while taking the listener on an adventurous ride.
Opening with a cut-up voice and percussion wig-out before submitting to a murderous bass thump that drives the track, Luciano rides along on a bed of toms, Aju's ghostly backing vocals and some perfectly deployed fills (oh, that timbale!) for nearly 11 minutes. Layers upon layers of his trademark percussion and a series of dizzying effects keep things moving along until 5:30, when a hammering synth riff is introduced. By the time the jazzy keyboard solo hits a few minutes later, I had to check my pants for wetness. Luciano sounds like he's having the time of his life here and he's taking us along with him. Lucky, lucky us.
A Crazy Place (Original Mix)
B Crazy Place (Luciano 'Likuid' Remix)