Upwellings – Ostara Part Two

Six on top

Just a few weeks ago, Upwellings a.k.a. Vincent Raude from Rennes, France, delivered the classy “Ostara” EP with four excellent tracks – now we get six on top, five remixes and one original track. A lot of exposure on a great label, but for good reason – Upwellings is one of the most promising artists on the very deep end of the Dub Techno pool.

The opener “False Realities” kind of serves as an opposite bookend to the first EPs closer “Universal Truths” – a slow ambient piece with vocal samples, reflective and pensive where “Universal Truths” was deep and dubby. An afterthought somehow, or a prelude – and a bit misleading if we look at the five tracks that follow: every one of them moving straight forward, four to the floor, no brooding just grooving.

What’s nice about the selection of remixes is that they all seem to take a different approach to both the work of Vincent Raude as well as the label itself. Steve O’Sullivan’s Mosaic label has been around since 1996 and that’s damn close to forever.

Fletcher’s approach is a slightly cosmic and nicely smooth ride, Hidden Sequence give it more kick and a very classic rhythmic structure, Owain K reminds us that slightly broken beats and tricky hi-hat work have their advantages, MOOR ups Hidden Sequence in terms of kick and bounce, and man of the moment El Choop trumps even that by shoving his remix even deeper into Tech House territory.

To give a little background – where possible: Fletcher is RJ Fletcher, Berlin based boss of the Tactics label. Hidden Sequence currently work from Cologne, formed by Paul Simmons a.k.a. Paul Robertson-Brown and Stefano Ugliano (who also seems to be the designer behind the cover art). Owain K is Innate label boss Owain Kimber and El Choop a.k.a. Harvey Jones is the guy you should or will have heard on his Echocord debut last month. MOOR? Mosaic call him a Dutch maestro – couldn’t really find him and he sure isn’t that trance guy from The Netherlands 😉

Compared to the first part of Ostara you get a lot more bang for the buck – both because of the quantity provided and the more pronounced rhythmic work on the remixes. You will like Fletcher’s spaciness for sure, or Hidden Sequence’s bass line that makes you want to reach for that magnificent “Lost And Found” EP Lee Burridge released a full 20 years ago. Owain K’s bass is almost melting through the floor and El Choop will let you time travel to somewhere around 2006 and put a smile on your face for good measure.

Somehow I feel nicely nostalgic when I listen to this. But maybe I’m just old. Who knows.

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