Hailing from the golden plains of Egypt, Red Soho owner Hazem Beltagui has quickly become a future favorite for Aly & Fila, as well as an invested interest from Armin van Buuren himself. During the events of the ASOT 650 New Horizons tour in Utrecht, Holland, Armin personally listed him as an artist to watch during 2014, and we couldn’t agree more. A quick thumb through his discography reveals his early career as a Progressive artist, but has quickly diected his productions towards a clubbier sound with his invention of ‘melotrance‘. Melotrance is a unique sound that strives to encapsulate the iconic Trance style within a slower Progressive Trance construct. Hazem‘s recent release of Lost Again wonderfully pairs his smooth, elegant melodies with the mellifluous vocals of Rebecca Louise Burch, (and we simply can’t get enough out of it). However, it is the remix of the mighty Ian Standerwick that has taken this track to a completely different playing field and has floored us with its relentless, behemoth-esque presence. Ian started out his career in 2002 with the release of his single, This Is My Sanctuary, but left the scene soon after to focus on other musical avenues. He then returned to Trance in 2012 with the release of Psycho and his remix of Gareth Weston‘s Checkmate. While it has been a slow year to build up his reputation, he has finally struck gold and has been churning out monster productions as of late, including his remixes to Vast Vision‘s Ardente and Suprano‘s Holding On.
Now armed with a slew of unreleased material, Ian is looking to become one of the fiercest talents of 2014 if this quality keeps up. For his interpretation, he surprisingly injects gregarious amounts of raw power into his jaw breaking basslines that rivals the colossal impact of Photographer and Harmonic Rush as savage basskicks stomp into each and every downbeat with cold, vindictive malice. However, his impeccably clean orchestration leaves plenty of room for the vocals to shine through with exceptional clarity and weight; a delicate balance that is incredibly difficult to execute. The breakdown consists of flowing, mournful pads as Rebecca exposes her tender sorrows through her graceful lyrics. Clipped, muted synths teases the main melody as it provides a moment of sheer transparency throughout the phrase, especially with the periods of silence that Ian takes liberties with. Grand, majestic synths then take the reigns with full fledged temperament before an increasingly agitated breakdown spirals out of control, (with acceleration intensifying). Ian then body slams the listener to the hard, concrete floor with a cruelly sadistic Tech drop that features merciless, murderous basslines and sadistic, screaming synth rips. Its intensity, its drive and its vicious, chaotic character does little to help the listener endure such savagery, but it slowly transitions into a gorgeously luscious melody that utilizes every single inch of wiggle room to expand its towering influence.
Ian Standerwick‘s remix of Hazem Beltagui‘s Lost Again is out now on FSOE via Beatport, so go snag this huge release today. Also make sure to check out the sublime Original, as well as the excellent Mohamed Ragab & Fabio XB mixes!
Keep the music alive. -Q