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  • Filed under: Review
  • 07/19/2013

Kate Simko "Your Love feat. Jem Cooke"

The No. 19 Music label can do a few things well, but blazing originality hasn't been a hallmark of the Canadian tech-house imprint founded by Art Department and Nitin. This holds true for the newest single "Your Love" from Kate Simko, which features yearning vocals from frequent collaborator Jem Cooke. Unfortunately, the track lacks the sensuality of her past work and instead functions as a blurry emotional interlude.

Simko starts out ably enough with sandpapered claps and a corkscrewing bassline, but piano chords quickly intrude on the proceedings. Floating shapelessly, they remove any possible tension from the vocal as they bubble throughout the track in 8-bar patterns. Cooke's repeated refrain of "ready for your love" could be either submissive or assertive, but the uncertainty is spoiled by the piano's uprooting presence, which makes her seem more anthemic than intriguingly disjointed. Extended string samples take the track to treacly new heights, yet overall it sounds unfinished, chugging along complacently in search of an interesting change.

Tevo Howard, who performs with Simko as PolyRhythmic, maintains a gurgling Depeche Mode synth line as the guiding melody for his remix, resulting in a version that's more electro and haphazard. New Jersey house hero Kerri Chandler contributes his "Bob Beaman Vocal Mix," named for the famed Munich nightclub where mixed down his final version, and it's a rollicking jack built around a bulbous two-note bassline. Chandler doesn't do too many remixes nowadays, but here he lets his signature crackling percussion take center stage, translating Cooke's vocal tics into flares of emotion by using her voice as an ornamental building block instead of an inevitable peak. His instrumental version is even better, as it highlights the convulsive breakdown and reshapes the piano in a way that avoids the vague mist of the original.

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