REVIEW WhoMadeWho ‘Dynasty (Denis Horvat Remix)’ [Embassy of Music]

After the ground-breaking and highly-appraised release of ‘I Don’t Know’ Remixes earlier this year, WhoMadeWho reconvened with Embassy of Music to unravel ‘Dynasty’, yet another track from their forthcoming ‘Through the Walls’ album, through a four-track EP featuring the single and three remixes. Joining the German singer/songwriter/producer, Roosevelt and Zurich-based DJ/Producer, Jimi Jules, is a an artist closer to the Danish electropop group, in proximity that is, or at least, as far as we know. With several releases on Innervisions, Exit Strategy, AEON, and Afterlife just this year, the Copenhagen denizen (of Croatian roots, however) has proved his mettle and versatility, even at a young age, garnering the confidence of the jet-setting, highly-seasoned, power trio. Denis Horvat’s rendition of Dynasty has been favorably received, and had instantaneously snatched hot spots in the prestigious playlists of esteemed DJs from various pockets of the electronic music playfield, including the oft-solicited accolade of Innervisions deity, Dixon.

The original mix, with introspective and penetrating lyrics signature to WhoMadeWho, and almost physically the latter in this particular venture, drew on a light-hearted bassline delicately controlled by Tomas Barfod, a hip and hep handling of guitar chords courtesy of Jeppe Kjellberg’s deft fingers and an overall euphonic melody, to complement singer/bassist Tomas Hoffding’s ravishing falsetto. But as this version can win hearts of the masses, and appeal to our tender predilections, its gentle, poppy approach needed Horvat’s touch and intensity to provide a more dramatic effect on dancefloors.

In an interview with Torture the Artist last year, Horvat revealed that although he loves melodies, he recognizes that ‘electronic music can be really boring, if it is not catchy.’ As manifested by his repertoire, Horvat, who is also a talented DJ as he is a producer, is very well in touch with what revs party goers’ adrenaline, or what it takes, in Dynasty metaphorical speak, to let blood that’s in a shell, bleed. Horvat jumpstarts his 8:57 minute maneuver with a seductive synth tease, which is ‘catchy, alright. Strikingly, Horvat does not rely on protrusive drumbeats to provide a dark cut; his adroitness in analog sounds decorously extracts and emphasizes Hoffding’s incantation, evading a frequent remix catch 22 of drowning strong vocals in dense bass. Horvat has made lucrative use of the 5:36 minutes he had added to the original; generously spawning textured soundscapes and intricate rhythmic explosions, one after another. With well balanced vacillation of pitch and reverb, Horvat nimbly restructures the simulacrum at the heart of Dynasty, which could’ve easily been a miss falling even a smidge short on finesse. In this particular plight, however, Horvat demonstrates that this dilemma is not for him to worry about; his rework is clearly a hit; without taking any shine from its predecessor.

In December 2016, Horvat admitted: ‘I do love vocals, but I’ve just been too lazy to get in touch with some vocalists.’ Less than a year later, he contradicts himself. Adding to a productive year of spewing heavy hitters left and right, he aces his pursuit of vocals, and graces the electronic music community with a Danish born and Danish raised tour de force, well with a touch of Croatian, perhaps. (Marie)