Cromie & Sage Caswell "Vines" b/w "Pyrex"
The world may not be so familiar with Cromie and Sage Caswell yet, but the pair of producers has managed to acquire some choice names to remix its debut EP. Peach, the label behind "Vines" b/w "Pyrex," is a new venture of Rem Koolhaus, a former design director for XLR8R and the co-founder of New York City's TURRBOTAX® party. The remixers include Detroit's Kyle Hall, San Francisco's Ghosts On Tape, and South Africa's DJ Spoko, and each leaves his imprint on one of the originals, with varying results.
That is not to say that there is any outright poor material here, just that Cromie and Caswell certainly have a defined enough style to warrant their own EP. "Pyrex" cuts a syncopated bounce somewhere between tropical dance music and more UK-based genres, and its measuredly propulsive drum work, along with drapey pads, is enough to sustain it. The duo drops in a bit of acid near the end as a kind of final push; it's an understandable inclusion, but possibly superfluous. "Vines" is similarly percussive, but is marked by an ecstatic, filtered-up vocal loop, which places it firmly in the hands-in-the-air, peak-time anthem category.
Ghosts on Tape seems like an ideal choice to remix "Pyrex," seeing as he began his career in an analogous style. His housey take is perhaps less exciting than the original, though its subby undercurrent and rolling snares lend it plenty of functionality. DJ Spoko's digital-only take on "Vines" strips that track of its exuberance as well, but in doing so takes it to a more ominous place. Its lean groove is predominantly driven by a wiggly synthline, as clips of the original whisper from behind moody atmospherics. Even more impressive is Kyle Hall's take on "Vines." It's one of the producer's smoother cuts, and recalls his work from a few years ago for labels like Hyperdub and Third Ear far more than it does his 2013 LP The Boat Party. Hall's musicianship ensures his take is the most complete transformation here, as he injects a fizzy, fluid synthline into a floating, dynamic arrangement. Overall, "Vines" b/w "Pyrex" is a solid first showing for Peach, and one hopes Rem Koolhaus can continue to source talent on this level moving forward.
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