Maceo Plex is a name known to fans of the underground side of dance music who is synonymous with quality. The progressive house guru has overseen his stock gradually rising throughout 2016, with his Mosiac parties in Ibiza being a heavy hitter boasting some of the best lineups the white island had to offer this year.
Fans of the American producer will be delighted to hear that the precursor to his upcoming 2017 album Solar, entitled Journey To Solar has finally arrived. Releasing on Maceo Plex’s own Ellum records, the seven track album has been eagerly anticipated from since it’s announcement last month. It contains a number of tunes which didn’t make the cut for the Solar album.
Opening up with The Replicant V1, this is a dark, atmospheric piece that sets the tone for the rest of the album. Dissonant Synth pads swoon in and out of play while an acid-like synth melody repeats itself in the forefront of the track backed by a solid 4/4 beat pounding throughout. Hang 106 takes its name from a hang drum, which is the sound source of the main melody in the track, this is a unique production that combines lighter acoustic elements with darker analogue synth parts to create a powerful, emotionally charged tune. Shoulder of Orion is a synth heavy track that’s main hook is an ethereal synth line which reverberates throughout the track to create an almost trance like feel, a true progressive house gem.
Motor Rotor is a proper dark-room tune that channels the more techno side of Maceo, epic synth pads are scattered throughout the production and add a real edge to the track while a plucked synth maintains a repetitive melody in the forefront of the track. Moving into the last track on the release, things are kept dark and dirty, starting with Love on Time, Maceo brings back the acid for this interesting combination of heavy 303-esque bass with the aggressive acid the 303 is known for. The Replicant V2 is fairly similar to the first version, however the main melody changes and a few extra synth sounds are thrown in. The final track on the release, Traktion, finishes the album on a high with a nice gliding bass synth being the main attraction that keeps the moody feel of the rest of the album in line.
Overall it’s an impressive release from Maceo Plex, and it’ll be interesting to see how Solar itself pans out if these were the tracks deemed not good enough.
You can listen to previews of Journey To Solar below and can purchase the album on Beatport here.