Mat Le Star: Life After
Mat Le Star (Matthew Lester of London, UK) serves up a powerful slice of neo-trance in his “Life After” original and then brings Ryan Davis (of Davis & May), Arjuna Schiks, and Treble aboard for remixes. Lester's own version burns determinedly for almost nine minutes, pulling into its emotive orbit percussive pops, iridescent synths, and melancholy string enhancements as it does so. If there's an undercurrent of epic reach to the track, it could be explained by the fact that “Life After” is Lester's attempt to—you guessed it—convey in musical form the experience of life after death. If it doesn't quite manage to do so, the journey's still one well worth taking. Davis's tight treatment rocks hard, driven as it is by a pounding groove and electro-synth sunshowers that render it ever more dizzying with each passing moment, while Schicks' version starts out in minimal mode before plunging deeper into a shuffling sub-house mode that, embellished with aquatic chords, swings infectiously. Treble's makeover is the real surprise here, simply for the fact that it distances itself from the others' dance-oriented treatments with a version that oozes as much dubstep and funk from its pores as it does trance. Its heavy bottom end is helped along considerably by the presence of a subterranean bass line that slithers almost subliminally through the track's underbelly, and, truth be told, it's Treble's variation that arguably comes closest to realizing Lester's “life-after-death” concept.