- The self-dubbed "Pet Shop Boys of deep house" have been mining the melodic depths of electronic house music from their Frankfurt base long enough to spot a wily collaboration when they see one, illustrated here by the excellent choice of remixers for the package, both of which overshadow the duo's original efforts. The LP version of "Hatohay" is a nicely constructed but ultimately uninspired affair. The bassline is satisfyingly deep and growly and is quite rightly the focus of the track, but the djembe-like percussion and bouncy kick drum seem a little misplaced; a little too overtly enthusiastic for the underplayed sobriety of the rest of the elements.
That said, Manuel Tur & Dplay's "Deviate" must be considered one of the standout deep house tracks of the year to date, the emotional richness of which I'm pleased to report also drenches their reworking of "Hatohay." Their remix brings the original into a much more suitable environment, introducing a chugging kick drum every bit as focused and elemental as the original's was disposable. The percussion is still there, but lower in the mix, keeping the focus on the incredible atmosphere built by layers of differently pitched, single key pads and (later) crashing organ keys that make the remix wholly superior to the original.
With Move D's mix, initially the atmosphere is, if anything, more thickly spread; choppy waves of synths eddy above cetacean-like effects, creating a fluidity unsurpassed by the majority of his contemporaries. The tension is released and the mood lightened as a brief but brightly inquisitive synth twinkles out of the haze, but make no mistake; this is deep, very deep.
"Solar Basic," on the other hand, is an ideal transitional track; one with enough deep house density to blend well with anything else on the EP, but with the addition of some techier touches—crisp, prominent hi-hat; metallic sweeps; high, urgent hook—that would signify a marked evolution from warm-up to warming up. And much like the majority of this EP, it's good—but not great.
A2 Hatohay (Manuel Tur & Dplay)
B1 Solar Basic
B2 Hatohay (Move D Remix)