Being on a constant routine of talking about singles has taken some toll on me, as I severely miss the distinctive nature of well-executed compilations. Every year there are strong contenders which restore my faith in the belief that albums are not becoming a rarer breed in the Dance spectrum. There is one to be talked about – exquisitely put together by the excellent British pair CamelPhat. They have become the new heart-throb of the industry in the recent years, as they have redefined a thrilling revamp of underground music.
“Dark Matter”, as designated, is intriguing and mysterious as it’s universal arcane counterpart. Demonstrating their progressive influences with warming homage to vintage sounds, the track list is studded with noteworthy songs. Not only there are gems to be discovered by the Techno-oriented fanbase, the variance and the sentimental theme will appease most listeners undoubtedly.
There is grand total of twenty-one splendid instrumentals: some of them are already recognized hits in CamelPhat’s discography, while others are new. While there is much to discuss, I have selected six preferences from this vast assortment. Explanations apart, let’s dive into this satisfying collection:
1- CamelPhat, ARTBAT – For A Feeling (ft. RHODES) [Dark Matter Edit]
Teaming up with their fellow Ukrainian colleagues ARTBAT for the first time and singer RHODES, “For A Feeling” came out earlier this year. This is a more re-edited version made to suit the album mix, hence mention of edit in title. Finding a sweet-spot to perch itself between the thin lines of Techno and Trance, the melancholic yet sublime vocal finds itself in a distorted bassline riff. While ARTBAT hugely delved in the atmosphere with soaring pads, CamelPhat arranged the production in a groovier and rhythmic fashion. This one scores a lot of points for its unique and sparse nature, a superb work!
2- CamelPhat feat. Noel Gallagher – Not Over Yet
A surprising joint effort at display here. A singer-songwriter veteran, Noel Gallagher (best known for his all time hit “Wonderwall”, as the lead vocalist in the Oasis) did not spare anything to offer a stellar vocal presence. The British duo on the other hand, utilized his grabby tonality to craft an uplifting and hypnotizing production. As usual, a robust but non-intrusive low-end assists while chiming leads and elevating Trance-y riff drives the song. With the sentimental touch, this track is sure to be a heavy rotation at dance-floors.
3 – CamelPhat – Inbetween The Lines
In this solo representation, the deuce have weaved a nostalgic melody, trading their expected signature for a calmer and serene schematics, organized further with enhancing lush orchestrations. Despite no human component to guide through, the soulful leads and the arresting details in the blueprints dispel any sort of mundaneness to it. Just like the name describes, this one colors outside the box and stands out from the rest for its opulent pace.
4 – CamelPhat x Eli & Fur – Waiting
An ear candy. This synergy is as promising as it sounds at a glance at the names involved in this project. London-based Eli & Fur are renowned for their Deep House trademarks, as I have been fascinated by their work published on labels like Anjunadeep. Introduction occurs with a captivating voice delivered by the talented one-half of the latter mentioned act. Adeptly encompassing with a New Wave retro synth-pop assets such as the backdrop and riffs, a ricochet-ing bassline sways as the analogue sounds complement, however not overwhelming either the vocal performance or the blissful flow.
5. CamelPhat – Expect Nothing
An odd one out because of its characteristics for more inclination towards House in a Techno-centric compilation, the peak-time rave inspired number plays along with a funky set of Jackin’ House chord synths. Keeping a simplistic and standard outline, the instrumental justifies for having position among the list: a slight nod to the endeared Tech House side of the skilled pair.
6. CamelPhat feat. LOWES – Easier
Starting with a delightful pianoforte and masterful feature from the British songstress LOWES, this Deeper and Progressive song has knelling Arp pluck synths running with the hoover-ish and droning reece bass. The dynamic and grumbling low-end carries the beat, further humanized thanks to the charming voice. Another interesting fact is involvement of esteemed pop vocalist Florence Welch in the composition, who is best known for her all-time EDM hit “Sweet Nothing”, created by the Scottish heavyweight Calvin Harris.
This début miscellanea of proficient tracks left me with no words after a playback. CamelPhat embraced both contemporary essentials of Techno and Progressive, while keeping a solid footing in old-school and delectable vibe of the past. Be it the peak-time Trance design or the Blade Runner-esque synths, this duo have shown genuine and avant-garde choices in their recordings. They have left an indelible mark in the Electronic scene with their creative prowess. The album is a testament of dedication, and cannot be recommend enough!