Benno de Goeij and Piet Bervoets are bringing us a new single using their famous Rank 1 guise. Most of their former releases were pure trance, but it seems like they wanted to try something different with this EP... Did it work?
We all know that Rank 1 consists of Benno de Goeij and Piet Bervoets. They have been producing music for years now, with their biggest success being the legendary 'Airwave', which is still being seen as one of the most influential tracks ever.
Rank 1's latest release on vinyl was the 3-track EP with the previously unreleased album-tracks 'Cosmomatic', 'Conspiracy' and 'Down From The Deep' on it. Their huge 'Symsonic' was released earlier this year, causing quite a stir throughout the scene with its beautiful melody and great remix package.
A-side: Beats At Rank-1 Dotcom
Right after I put the needle on the vinyl, I noticed that this was going to be something different than we're used to from Rank 1. A low-volumed, almost filthy sounding kickdrum is what serves as the introduction, being accompanied by a small set of whooshy sounding samples on the background. The kickdrum starts to louden up, being backed by what seems like a stabbing bassline. Flowing onwards, a bit of sharp hi-hats get added, plus a clap which brings just that extra bit of speed to the rather long build-up. At about 2 minutes, a dark, techy sounding synth comes in, playing a repetitive piece of filtered melodies, just until the start of the main break part. A cool strings part enters, playing the melody that you can hear at Rank 1's website as well (so that's where the name comes from!). Small portions of backing kickdrums bang behind this, just until the whooshy sound returns, this time together with an ever building, very energetic synth which filters itself upwards more and more. The melody itself is not too complicated, but does have this dark feeling in it which still makes it kind of special. I noticed myself humming this for a while, so I guess it's catchy as well! It's clear that the producers have tried to create a true dancefloor monster, in which they certainly succeeded. The return of the melody during the main climax, backed by the stabbing bassline and minimal percussion are the perfect elements to create ultimate mayhem on a dancefloor. The build-down is rather long with it's two minutes, but it's surely something we can live with, can't we?
B-side: After Me
Breakbeats! That's what you hear when the needle starts to mix itself with the first grooves on this black slice of plastic fun. A neat intro using a tiny kickdrum and some cool percussion leads us towards the coming of the real kickdrum. A stomping, kind of reverbed sounding kick, being surrounded by lots and lots of groovy percussion. Some synthies get added as well, playing a few subtle chords from a melody part which is still to come. Expanding more and more, the breaky beats guide us into the breakdown. A bit of emotional set of violin-sounding strings comes in, which are being used as the background chords for a bunch of male vocals, which were apparently sung by Benno de Goeij himself! Though I'm not such a fan of vocals, these sound quite OK together with the other elements. What really makes this track flow is the main melody. It blends in wonderfully with the vocals and strings part, even creating a bit of a euphoric atmosphere during the 'climax' (can I call it this way?). For breakbeat lovers, this track might just work on the dancefloor, but for me, being a more 'trancy' guy, it would suit better as a nice background track I think.
Rank 1 shows us that they have the ability to create every style they want to: 'Beats At...' is more of a techtrance affair, with its banging climax, not too complicated percussion and cool use of the melody. 'After Me' can be compared with the work of Hybrid: breakbeat percussion joining with catchy vocals and a really cool melody along the way. All in all a quality release once again, let's see what they'll bring us next!