Domenico Ferrari vs. Luomo: The Kick
Straight Ahead Recordings

The unusual concept driving The Kick finds Domenico Ferrari remixing four tracks from his Commute album with guest Luomo (Vladislav Delay) contributing his own mixes of those same songs. Thankfully, the results are free of redundancy as the two artists' versions contrast radically. Certainly common elements remain yet the material is transformed so idiosyncratically that one must almost strain to draw connections between them; sequencing Ferrari's versions first and then Luomo's (rather than pairing their respective versions of a song side-by-side) helps to quell that comparative urge. At root, Ferrari's mixes are soulful, synth-heavy electro-house mixes, first and foremost exuberant dance tracks yet rich enough for headphones listening too. Luomo keeps his microhouse mixes clean, warm, and minimal, and focuses on chopping and looping vocal fragments over driving beats. Ferrari gives “Aku Aku – Straight No Chaser” a fresh electro-disco mix with the spotlight on Latasha N. Diggs' sensual singing; with its voice fragments looped over throbbing beats, Delay's “Aku Aku – Dub for Aku-Kimmo” is slightly more house-flavoured. Clearly the largest contrast emerges in their “Sit Beside Me” mixes. Luomo serves it straight-up, silkily draping the vocal across the song's supple microhouse groove, while Ferrari's punchy guitar version rocks out. Anyone looking for The Present Lover Part II should note that, aside from his elastic handling of Ferrari's material, Delay's approach is rather self-effacing, one more intent on subtle transformations than extreme overhauls. Regardless, those with an appreciation for artfully crafted deep house will find much to savour here.

October 2004