- Globalization: on the one hand it can put a Starbucks on every corner of the globe, on the other, it allows your ears to feast on records like Rocha's debut, records which wouldn't have been possible to make in a pre-digital pre-Internet era, much less globally distribute. Fitting then, that it's also the launch release for a new label from Uruguay called International Feel, because that's exactly what this 12-inch, stocked with a multi-culti cadre of remixes, gives off. "Hands of Love" has trappings of a great underdog story—two students from the town of Rocha wander into a A&R office with a demo of an attention-grabbing piano-house track they play on a couple of iPhones, the guy behind the desk gets inspired to start a label and corrals Harvey Bassett into a remix.
Who doesn't love it when nobodies become somebodies, especially, as in Rocha's case, they deserve it? Rocha's debut is dominated by glistening, multi-octave piano playing that tumbles across the scales like a waterfall. "Hands of Love" is right, it sounds like the ivories are getting quite the amorous caress. Rocha aren't afraid to pile the track's chugging space-boogie with extra keyboard layers that build in a long crescendo of rising heartfelt drama, without ever drowning in excess.
With its rich variety of elements—those glistening runs, those heart-swollen chords—the piano playing offers up a wide berth of possibility for the remixer. Each version offered here finds its own way to snatch a bit of the keys and make them new. Reworks by Mugwump and Reverso 68 both solidly update the low-end while keeping the overall vibe intact. Gatto Fritto's remix is almost unfathomably deep. Slathered with waves of echo, distant guttural screams and exploding synthesizer fury, it plumbs the psychedelic depths so far it's basically the drug submarine of remixes. It's called a "Nightmare Version," and when it ends you feel like you've been pleasantly terrorized by something you haven't fully understood. It's less of a track and more of a condensed assault from the FX-return channels.
Then you got yourself DJ Harvey. Bassett's apparently become chums enough with the folks behind International Feel to sign on for three releases. It's no small coup for a brand new label, as Harvey hasn't released almost anything for over ten years under his own name. Harvey cans the piano altogether, preferring to take some rippling analog pulses and blow them up to widescreen size, add some loping live drums, and slow everything to a heart-beating, head-nodding steamroller's pace. What else did you want him to do? If you're a beard-carrying disco fan it only makes the prospect of those three forthcoming releases all the more mouth-watering.
A1 Hands Of Love (Fingers Of Sand)
A2 Hands Of Love (Fingers Of Sand) (Gatto Fritto Menorcan Nightmare Version)
B1 Hands Of Love (Fingers Of Sand) (Harvey's Downstairs Mix-Up)
B2 Hands Of Love (Fingers Of Sand) (Reverso 68 Remix)