REVIEW Simoncino ‘The Warrior Dance Remixes Pt. II’ [Skylax Records]

Parisian label, Skylax Records, continues to build its fine and weighty catalogue of 12″s with a series of remixes for Simoncino‘s The Warrior Dance, with two separate releases showcasing the work of Chez Damier on part I, Ron Trent, Gene Hunt and Merwyn of Virgo Four on part II. It’s the second of the packages that’s the focus on and what a package of heavyweight cuts this is. 

Any Ron Trent release gets the goosebumps in action, the quality he has displayed consistently over the years is remarkable. On his reworking of Warriors Dance, which introduces the release, that level of supreme deepness remains to the fore. Expertly bringing warmth and atmosphere flooding through the speakers, the use of delayed synths, eerie pads, panned FX and the introduction of tinkling keys as the track progresses is a thing of absolute beauty. This is perfect deep material for adding some fizz to your warm-up set, or as a gorgeous set-closing vibe. As anyone who digs Ron’s work will agree upon hearing this, he has produced another masterclass of depth right here. 

Next-up on the B1 cut is another producer whose work always shines, Chicago’s Gene Hunt who, as with Ron, turns in yet another stunning thumper of a remix here, taking Do It Again so deep, you need a submarine to check it out. A growling bassline sets the stall which mutates as the track thumps along, with off-kilter synths, clicky percussion and reverb-laden pads creating a palette of underground audio joy. This is another after-hours special, executed to absolute perfection by a craftsman at the top of his game here. 

Closing the 12″ are two versions of Mystery Girl courtesy of Merwyn Sanders, one of the original Virgo Four artists, who were legendary Trax Records artists in the mid-late 80s. His main mix here is testament to that quality from the 80s, sounding authentically raw and moody, the weight of the bassline carrying the pads, percussion and the gentle refrain of the title, which runs throughout the track in a softly-spoken fashion. As the track develops and opens up, shimmering synths come into play to create a wonderful ‘fuzzy-head’ feeling, leaving the listener woozy with delight. There is also a dub mix from Merwyn, which at just over 3 and a half minutes, adds a gorgeous bonus to the release. Built around the percussive tracks, this time the bassline is reworked, with gentle use of the pads and keys to give a more subtle direction from his main mix. The vocal remains here and is more front and centre, due to the calmer use of the other sounds. A fantastic closing couplet of remixes from Merwyn, to round off a fantastic, timeless slice of pure quality underground house.    

Simoncino’s The Warrior Dance Remixes II (Ron Trent, Gene Hunt & Merwyn of Virgo Four Remixes) is released through Skylax Records.

Words by Al Bradley

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