On today’s Unsung Heroes, we delve into the often murky recesses of Tech music and deliver an exceptionally sexy and sophisticated sound to feast your ears into. It is often said that genres have clearly definable and respectable niches, but there are some certain styles that aren’t exactly classified by avid fans and analysts. An easy example would be Tribal music, as it delicately balances the thin tightrope of Tech House, House and Big Room genres with just a touch of jungle flair. However, today, we will be looking at a certain sub-genre of Progressive House, which should not be confused with the definition that most people perceive it in 2013. The mainstream definition for Progressive House is sub-kicked Big Room music with an emphasis on festival usage, which almost always dominates the mainstage scene. The Progressive House we are looking at today is a completely different interpretation, as this particular sublet of the genre features cutting edge sound design, minimalistic properties and a particular fondness towards technical rhythms and prowess. This particular style has been the main sound for many high end DJ’s and producers who currently champion this sound including Jerome Isma-Ae, Max Freegrant, Daniel Portman and Sebastian Krieg. Other notable examples include Kash Trivedi, Christian Cambas and the older sounds of Michael Woods, who was an industry juggernaut from 2008-2012.
However, there are certain other producers who also produce this sound that are now emerging from the woodworks towards the bigger arena of brand recognition. Heroes such as Aji Mon Nair, Electric Soulside, Yuji Ono and Weekend Heroes have been making huge strides as the emerging breed of future Progressive Trance producers. However, a certain project caught my eye over the last year and after listening to their productions, I can say I am a huge fan. Brazil and Israel both combine their unique sounds and influences to bring us the insatiable power duo that is Q.U.A.K.E. Don’t know who they are? I wouldn’t be surprised, as I had to essentially dig around a little in order to find these two producers. However, one glance at their Soundcloud account shows almost 9,000 followers, with another 44,000 on their Facebook. So who exactly are they and how did they get such a cult following? The answer is due to a powerful combination between production chops that are staggeringly advanced along with an incredible blending of different styles while keeping a clearly definable, (and even iconic), sound. They flit in between House, Tech and even elements of Psy Trance; even remixing tracks from Psy legends such as Captain Hook, Perfect Stranger, Rocky and Sphera. Their single of Overdose is where their talents are in top form, as they combine their signature Progressive House sound with smooth elements of Progressive for a cool mixture of styles that pushes the limits on complete creationary quality.
Unfortunately for us, it is an unreleased track from their back catalog, so the sample we have included contains some fading out sections that are used for watermark purposes. However, this doesn’t deter from us listening to the track and it certainly doesn’t stop the duo from showcasing their craft. Overdose begins with some old fashioned Isma-Ae synth stabs as a rush of upwards synths increase in velocity, (and interestingly enough, tremolo), before the vocals of, ‘house‘ signals the incoming drop. What follows is some of the most polished work that I have ever heard as each individual part is minted with the cleanest production value for the complexity of sounds it provides. The main stabs exude Progressive vibes for sure, but also contains a certain Housey groove towards it; whilst the stripped back percussion, intensely technical basslines and overall orchestration certainly envelop this fantastic slot of Progressive House. This notion is even more accentuated with reverbs, added synths and layered percussion as the basslines even flirt towards slower burning Psy sounds, (while keeping a consistent and full-on drive throughout the mix). The breakdown continues as it strips back even further to nothing but bare bones material, which actually exudes a certain charm towards its exposed outlines. The second drop unleashes even more technicality than before with full fledged sixteenth note basslines shredding through layers of sound, while still aggressively maintaining that everlasting degree of House groove.
As stated before, Q.U.A.K.E.‘s single of Overdose is unreleased, (even though the preview was from a year ago), but we’ll have to wait to see if any new information comes in. Until then, check out the preview above and tune in next week!
Keep the music alive. -Q
Unsung Heroes is a weekly segment where we take a look back at an amazing production and bring it back into the light for older and newer fans alike. These tracks were often overlooked, overshadowed by a huge release or are just not that well known to the public here in America. Here, you can find all the hidden gems in many genres and find a new favorite track (or another tool/weapon for aspiring DJ’s).