Joel Armstrong
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Joel Armstrong

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"Joel Armstrong "Serenity""

If any of you considered Joel Armstrong an "upcoming" artist in the past, well it's about time your view changed. Joel Armstrong is certainly here, and there is certainly nothing "upcoming" about "Serenity". Over their short existence, Proton have gradually been turning up the quality with each of their releases. The time has finally come, a time we all knew would come, where in Proton piece together a release which is just that little bit more innovative, pushing that extra bit of elegance, to come dangerously close to what we can refer to as 'perfection'.

Armstrong has recently been the talk of the town, being part of the Peg City All Stars taking the spotlight for the "Lost In The Moment" remix competition. His demiurgic style is ingenious, and flows through into all of his work. It is absolutely grand that Proton are acknowledging artists such as Armstrong, and is yet another credit to their name.

The Original Mix sets up a fluid breaks foundation, with a lush melody line evoking an ambrosial state of mind in the listener. Each element of the composition has been crafted with parsimony, and the work that has gone into the layering of these elements can be viewed from all angles. Multiple melodies are interwoven with constructive output, and I find it hard to locate any points of weakness in the structure. An extremely coherent masterpiece which I can guarantee you will be hearing over the remainder of the year.

If you are reading this and you aren't already familiar with Opencloud then something isn't quite right. Blake Potter and Corey Spengler have taken the scene by storm, inspiring awe in the hearts of everyone who is blessed with hearing their work. If just the thought of bringing together Joel Armstrong and Opencloud doesn't put a smile on your face, listening to the remix presented here certainly will. Rebuilding the composition to a tight 4/4 standard, their own melodies are tightly sewn in and complement the original elements wondrously. The mood takes a stygian turn from the Original Mix and pushes forward with driving force. Skilfully paying homage to the Original Mix whilst lending their own touch, Opencloud hit the mark yet again.

If any of you have been wondering what Shiloh have been up to lately, they certainly haven't been misusing their time. With a forthcoming artist album on Baroque coming soon, many of you will be suffering sleepless nights until that hits the shelves. Until then however, the guys have been great enough to add their touch to "Serenity", and if this mix is any indication of what we can expect from their album, I think I will be losing sleep also! Each element of the Original has been extracted and given an added sense of clarity. There are many complex elements to the structure; however each one individually stands out with razor sharp definition. The melodic elements have been brought towards the front, and a driving 4/4 foundation keeps things moving. With each mix presented being of amazing quality, I am certainly going to be having a hard time deciding which I should spin when faced with the task!

To close the release, the version which certainly puts the title "Serenity" to work. To truly appreciate the Chillout Mix, make sure your surround is turned up. Close the blinds, position yourself in an acoustically sound location (preferably the centre of the room), and close your eyes. You will be amazed as the slow pulsing beats and blissful melodies enter your thoughts and evoke synaesthesia in your eyes, even with them being closed. If you for some strange reason need evidence of Joel Armstrong's amazing skills, then here is your proof. If I had to sum this up in two words, those words would be 'truly astounding'.

I feel that if you do not get yourself a copy of this release, you are truly missing out on one of the most amazing releases to come out all year. Sure, we get many tracks which have great listening appeal, or tracks which work well in working the crowd, but it is not often we get a track which succeeds on so many multiple levels. Proton have never put a foot out of line, but they truly have outdone themselves on this release, and every single person involved with the release should be amazingly proud of the end product. -


Crazy feat. Marcie [System Recordings]
The Jitters [Ascension Records]
After Later [Baroque Recordings]
Silver Moon [Babylon Records]

a whole bunch of remixes are available as well

all can be streamed here:

some can be found on iTunes as well.



I like dance music and I make money writing it and playing it out.