Deepak Sharma + Dieter Krause: Wolkenreise
Hidden Recordings

Deepak Sharma and Dieter Krause's previous release, The Great Lawn, garnered a plentiful share of acclaim, and the Hidden Recordings label heads appear poised to do it again with their follow-up, Wolkenreise. The tune, a sultry deep house serenade tailor-made for the wee hours, is presented in its original form alongside five makeovers by John Tejada, Dj Qu, Rene Breitbarth, Gustavo Lamas, and Karraskilla. The “Wolkenreise” original reveals Sharma and Krause to be masterful manipulators of mood and atmosphere. For seven engrossing minutes, organ swells, triangle accents, phase-treated chords, and dubby echo treatments drape themselves across a gently rolling pulse in such a way that, before you realize it, you're caught up in its entrancing spell and surrendering to the tune's subtle charms.

Because the original's focus is more on mood than melody per se, the remixers are given ample opportunity to play liberally with the cut's elements and give unique spins to the material. In a deliciously sunkissed makeover, LA-based producer John Tejada wraps the cut in an Ibiza blanket and spirits it away to the beach, making good on the track title's literal translation as “cloud travel.” Cool breezes blow across Tejada's subtly pumping treatment, with a thumping bass pulse and silken synths adding to the cut's summery vibe. Up next is Strength Music's DJ QU, who spikes the original with an insistent and uptempo rhythm pulse and sprinkles a trippy vocal hook over top of it for good measure. While the slightly dub-inflected cymbal patterns and rimshots add a different slant to “Wolkenreise,” such treatments don't add enough of interest to push DJ QU's version to the front of the pack. Berlin native Rene Breitbarth, on the other hand, has no such difficulty turning heads with a club-ready version that's soulful and funky in equal measure. A classic slow-builder, Breitbarth's remix adds layers incrementally until what comes out the other end is a smooth and sparkling slice of synthetic wonderment powered by a dreamy deep house pulse. The version from Columbian-born and current NYC resident Karraskilla is distinguished by the admirable balancing act performed between soothing melancholia and crisp beatsmithing—two contrasting but by no means incompatible sides of Sharma and Krause's original. No slouch in the groove department himself, Gustavo Lamas shows up-and-comers how to get the crowd rapturously swooning with a thumping dance treatment whose bass lines and punchy kick drums are worth the EP's purchase alone. It's this one you'll remember most of all.

March 2011