As a relative newcomer to the Progressive Trance scene, the South Korean artist that is Kago Pengchi is set on challenging the age old Prog Trance formula with a hefty injection of power packed, Trance 2.0 elements. Not much is known about the producer, but he has been producing since the start of 2011 and has seen moderate success throughout the last 3 years. His singles game has been on point for a mere 3 years of producing, as tracks such as Astronaut, Smith and Lost Rain has been supported by the likes of Mark Sherry, Sean Tyas, Andrew Rayel and Giuseppe Ottaviani. Meanwhile, notable remixes include hefty reworks of Crunk by Mike Koglin vs. Tempo Giusto and Ethereal by Odonbat, and a recent, cheeky bootleg to Super8 & Tab vs. Jaytech‘s Anjunabeats smasher, Code Red, was recently given away as a cool, free download. Even though these are indeed moderate successes, we haven’t been seeing his name on rotation on a regular basis and while it’s nice to occasionally hear his work, he needs to establish himself as an artist and as a trendsetter if he is to excel further in his brand and career. However, a new, explosive double single EP might be exactly the shot in the arm that his musical momentum needs and these fantastic singles, (entitled The Phantom and Sinabro) have shot out of complete left field in terms of quality and lasting power by completely capitalizing on raw, coarse power and edgy, intuitive synthesis.
Kago Pengchi- The Phantom (Original Mix)
Throughout the opening bars, it is clear that Kago is making a definitive stylistic change from his usual Progressive Trance fare, and is intent on recreating the tried and tested Anjunabeats style, (post Group Therapy), that has been making the rounds within the Trance sphere. While his new sound is anything but Trance, it is still a smooth and confident number that will have you shaking and bopping to its straightforward, hypnotic rhythms. With a blindingly catchy hook, the opening reveals a simplistic melodic synth riff that playfully incorporates many other different Electro sounds within certain spots of its melody in true Progressive Trance form. The sound design is impeccably clean and each of the rocking instruments seem to magically pop from the arrangement and firmly plant themselves into the brain, much like a sticker being slapped on the wall. The breakdown is where we start to hear some of the beautiful Pengchi sound of old, as hints of Asian culture stick out within the wondrous piano line that shines with an elegantly emotional chord progression. However, it is not long before we start to hear the cool, collected main hook reappear and the chord play that it engages with the piano line brings surprising delights towards the ear. Both rugged and adventurous, The Phantom is a great extension of Trance 2.0 that actively crafts a brand new sound not heard in any other genre, and its playful, bubbly disposition ensures great times to be had by all.
Kago Pengchi- Sinabro (Original Mix)
Supported on Armin van Buuren‘s A State Of Trance radio show, Sinabro is the tamer, more Progressive side to the EP that showcases more of the older talents of Kago Pengchi. However, this doesn’t mean that it lets up on the heavy Trance 2.0 elements, but rather, it effortlessly combines the two for a fearless, punchy mix that is full of surprises and twists throughout every phrase of the track. The opening is very unusual for Prog Trance standards, as a mixture between gritty Electro lines is met head on with an African sounding melodic drum synth, and the wonderful clash between the two adds to the tracks distinct allure and expansive skill set on stylistic opportunities. The drum synths are then quickly swapped out for some techy induced rhythmic synths to add an extra dose of aggression towards the mix. With a sudden somber turn, emerging minor melodic ostinatos are quickly brought in with a warm, delicate harmonic structure that quickly sets the stage up for a gorgeous piano line to take shape. Euphoric, anthemic synths playfully engage in a call and response structure with the piano, and within the phrase, we actually hear a classic Roland TR-808 synth stabbing in the background, (which was made popular a la Whitney Houston). Finally, it drops the floor from beneath our feet and slams us with modulating Electro basslines that connect in tandem with techy synth lines for a crushing, yet elegant Trance 2.0 drop.
Kago Pengchi‘s The Phantom and Sinabro is out now on Enhanced Progressive via Beatport, so make sure you purchase a copy and support real talent today!
Keep the music alive. -Q