14 Jun 2021
UsernamePassword

Remember Me? | Join | Recover
Click here to sign in via social networking

House Of Downtown - Single Review: Rise Above (OOJ Remix)

27 Apr 2021 // A review by Jamie Denton

Auckland-based electronic scene-legends House of Downtown break a near twenty-year hiatus with new single Rise Above (OOJ Remix). Coming from their forthcoming album entitled Re-Release (an album that revisits, remixes, remasters, and re-conceptualises their debut album Release for its twentieth anniversary – my review for that is also coming soon!), this single reimagines fan favourite Rise Above.

While the original 2001 version of Rise Above opened with the slow application of various sound effects, a minimalist synth line, and a deep, distorted bass, its reconceived 2021 counterpart streamlines this approach, exploding straight out of the blocks with the vocals and a big, yet somewhat minimalist beat. There is no slow subtle fade in, no slow swelling of studio effects, or gradual introduction of instruments this time. This time around, House of Downtown drop the listener deep into midst of it all, akin to arriving at the club mid-set and simply ‘jumping in boots and all’.

Rise Above (OOJ Remix) retain the classic House of Downtown signature sound, that fresh blend of house, soul, R&B, funk, disco with a strong Pacific/Aotearoa influence but also update that sound by taking advantage of the advancements that have been made in mixing, production, and mastering over the past twenty years. This provides a slick, powerful, enjoyable ride through the familiar territory of an old classic. However, House of Downtown have iterated Rise Above (OOJ Remix) just enough to keep it within the same neighbourhood as the 2001 version, but not just a shuffling of the deck chairs on the lawn or a new smattering of paint on the same old walls. Instead, this feels like a new home in a familiar community.

Indeed, the real strength of this track remains within its song-writing. Rise Above (OOJ Remix) takes the 6 minute 25 second track and cuts it down to a taunt, lean, muscular, yet energetic 3 minutes 12 seconds. Furthermore, it does so by breathing new energy and fire into a New Zealand house classic and is destined to get old and new fans’ hearts pounding and bodies sweating.

Overall, this is a very interesting release. It does not simply dwell on the retro-cool of being a re-tweaking and reimagining of a twenty-year-old piece of New Zealand electronica history, but instead stands up as strongly on its own two feet. Indeed, it is like being visited by an old friend, but not one who is simply reminiscing on the past, but instead who may be in better shape than they ever were.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )
 

About House Of Downtown

NZ Electronic music pioneers since before the internet merging Funk, House, Soul & Pacific vibes. Uniquely Aotearoan.

House of Downtown are a New Zealand-based electronic music act consisting of DJs / producers Christiaan Ercolano and Emerson Todd.

They have released two well received albums on their own State House record label via Universal Music, as well as several 12-inch singles on State House and Simon Flower's 'South Exit' label.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for House Of Downtown

Releases

Re-Release
Year: 2021
Type: Album
Mutha Funkin Earth
Year: 2003
Type: Album
Release
Year: 2001
Type: Album

Other Reviews By Jamie Denton

Justin Sane - Single Review: You Bout That
10 Jun 2021 // by Jamie Denton
Ex-UK, now Auckland-based DJ/producer, Justin Sanehas a long history in the music industry. He has been releasing music for over 15 years, both within Aotearoa New Zealand and the UK, and has a long list of collaborations with a wide range of artists (including Dane Rumble, Kids in Space, {3Oh!
Read More...
House Of Downtown - Album Review: Re-Release
06 May 2021 // by Jamie Denton
Electronica/house music legends House of Downtown return from a near-twenty-year hiatus with a new album entitled Re-Release that revisits, remixes, remasters, and reconceptualises 2001’s critically and commercially successful debut album Release. Having been very familiar with House of Downtown during their original heyday and having spent a lot of time listening to their previous releases (the aforementioned Release and 2003’s Mutha Funkin’ Earth), I was nervously excited to check this new album out.
Read More...
Jadukor - Single Review: King of the Ring
14 Feb 2021 // by Jamie Denton
Originally hailing from Bangladesh, Jadukor (which literally means magician in Bengali) is a global citizen who now calls Aotearoa, New Zealand home. The previous sentence is about all that is known about this mysterious solo act, and that is exactly how he wants it.
Read More...
theajsound and NEEKOH - Single Review: Minefield
04 Dec 2020 // by Jamie Denton
Collaborations are inherently risky propositions; how will two distinct and strong personalities work together? Will their visions of the output align?
Read More...
Sam V - Single Review: Up Up Down
10 Nov 2020 // by Jamie Denton
Earlier this month, Auckland-based hip-hop/R&B artist Sam V dropped his latest single entitled Up Up Down. Continuing his productive and prolific collaboration with producer EDY, Up Up Down retains many of the stylistic qualities and signature sound that was established in Sam V’s previous outputs.
Read More...
Hotel Death Star - Single Review: You're Not Jesus
03 Nov 2020 // by Jamie Denton
Bali based Hotel Death Star is a collaborative EDM project between expat singer-songwriter Phil Stoodley (perhaps best known for his solo work and his early rock band Stoods) and Bali-national producer-composer-multi-instrumentalist Andreas Arianto. In contrast to the guitar-based rock and pop that dominated Phil Stoodley’s earlier projects, Hotel Death Star’s first single, You’re Not Jesus, sees the pair dive into electronica, especially deep house territory.
Read More...
Banana Mundo - Single Review: Bananas of the World
23 Sep 2020 // by Jamie Denton
The intriguingly named Banana Mundo is an 8-piece musical collective from New Plymouth. Boasting members from around the world, the collective includes musicians from France, Argentina, Venezuela, Switzerland, England, Uruguay, and our own little piece of paradise, Aotearoa New Zealand.
Read More...
Reignmaker - EP Review: Demos from Uranus
23 Jul 2020 // by Jamie Denton
Reignmaker, who identify themselves as a "brutal aliencore duo … from the Swamp and from the Hutt", have just released their first two-track EP, entitled Demos from Uranus. With a total run time of just 3-minutes, the EP blasts out of the gate and past the listener as a lightning-bolt of uncontrollable, frenetic, schizophrenic energy.
Read More...
View All Articles By Jamie Denton

NZ Top 10 Singles

  • GOOD 4 U
    Olivia Rodrigo
  • KISS ME MORE
    Doja Cat feat. SZA
  • DEJA VU
    Olivia Rodrigo
  • BODY (REMIX)
    Russ Millions x Tion Wayne
  • TRAITOR
    Olivia Rodrigo
  • FAVORITE CRIME
    Olivia Rodrigo
  • PEACHES
    Justin Bieber feat. Daniel Caesar And Giveon
  • LEVITATING
    Dua Lipa feat. DaBaby
  • SAVE YOUR TEARS (REMIX)
    The Weeknd And Ariana Grande
  • MONTERO (CALL ME BY YOUR NAME)
    Lil Nas X
View the Full NZ Top 40...
muzic.net.nz Logo
100% New Zealand Music
All content on this website is copyright to muzic.net.nz and other respective rights holders. Redistribution of any material presented here without permission is prohibited.
Report a ProblemReport A Problem