Review: Betke – Paris-Beirut-Texas (incl. Baaz & So Inagawa Remix) – Slices of Life
With the 8th release from Slices of Life, the Berlin based label from Barbara Preisinger once again offers an outstanding selection of contemporary club tracks. Originally produced in 2008 Betke’s funky and rough „Paris-Beirut-Texas“ finally sees the light of day. Serving some nice grooves for a smooth club night, on top the track gets a great remix from So Inagawa who already showed his amazing understanding of house and techno several times. Plus Office Recordings owner Baaz adds a great dub interpretation of the original to complete the EP in great style.
Of course this record starts with the original track on the a-side. „Paris-Beirut-Texas“ takes things off with great effort and well done slaps that spread through this track by heavy use of delays, offering a nice and agile structure. The deep and powerful kick and bassline combination adds a nice punch and lots of straightness to this piece which adds on to the dreamy string perfectly. A sweet and almost mumbling background noise functions as a lower sound layer and gives some extra deepness to balance the drive from the drum rack softly. Bleeping and nicely processed samples float through the surface of deepness and turn this track into a heavy grooving and funky house track that never loses contact to the deeper side of club music. Due to the special sounds that were used by Betke and his extremely dynamic drums in contrast to the background layer this track turns out to be spectacular all the way. A nicely done mix of funky and extraodinary samples that pimp this track, generating a very positive and lovely vibe that definitely stands out of nowadays releases in a positive way. On the flip side Japan’s very own So Inagawa turns the knobs in his usual way, creating a remix that clearly bears his signature. The groove is stripped back and seems to be a bit calmer, focusing on a constant and repetitive loop. It’s all about the bounce on So Inagawa’s re-interpretation which adds some soft adjustments on every sound. Some drum rolls and a nicely vocal that’s powered by a smooth delay are built in unagitatedly. Furthermore he uses the signature sound from the original in a more serious way, adding them to the groove instead of using them on top of it. Typical So Inagawa sound throughout the whole remix, his elegant and minimalistic attempt translates perfectly and makes his version very enjoyable. The second track on the b-side was done by Baaz. As you already know he simply is one of our favorite producers out there. Always reaching out to us with every single production and of course this time as well. If you enter the club and his dub version of „Paris-Beirut-Texas“ is playing you can tell the party will be superb. It’s the perfect warm-up track when it comes to smooth house that introduces you to a club and a cold beer. On point snares, a sharp kick and an unbelievable bassline. A nicely moving string that makes his way from the background into the foreground constantly and lots of delay and reverb used on almost every sound end up in a very laid back, but still danceable dub track that offers a large variety if you listen closely. That’s one of Baaz’s strengths, he creates tracks that seem to be very basic and simple. But if you listen closely there’s so much to discover. A pitched vocal comes up, the drum pattern gets a small twist and some tiny little soundscapes pop out of nowhere. It’s just a quality 12 inch record with an original track and two diverse re-interpretations from So Inagawa and Baaz that really stick to the original and pay tribute at the same time. Just a great three track EP once again from our beloved Slices of Life label.
Some good things take time, originally produced by Stefan Betke in 2008, „Paris-Beirut-Texas“ never went beyond the point of being a funky and very rough sketch. For various reasons it got stuck in his live performances and „Paris-Beirut-Texas“ was never completely finished until the end of 2015.