19 May 2022
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

Speech Act Theory - Single/Video Review: Old Versus New
25 Feb 2022 // by Jamie Denton
Initially conceived of as purely a studio project to fuse electronica with live drums and other instruments, Auckland-based alternative/electronica Speech Act Theory is the brainchild of producer/musician Pete Hickman alongside drummer Ben Bradford. With the project kicking off in the latter end of 2019 — which is probably not the greatest timing, with all the upcoming turmoil and disruption to live music etc.
Read More...
Steven Hue - EP Review: Assembly
15 Feb 2022 // by Jamie Denton
At the start of December, I had the opportunity to review the double single Brainstare / Manatorquim by Tasmanian-based ex-pat Kiwi, Steven Hue. At that time, I noted that another three songs would be following shortly, and that, based on the strength of these original two, I was eagerly anticipating what this next batch would have in store.
Read More...
Floor Five - EP Review: The Garden
28 Jan 2022 // by Jamie Denton
Indie-pop/rock band Floor Five are relative new-comers on the Kiwi music scene. Following up a couple of previous singles (2020’s Overthinking and 2021’s Strawberry Wine), the Wellington based four-piece’s partially crowd-funded EP The Garden was released just as the country returned to the red light setting of the Covid protection framework.
Read More...
Steven Hue - Double Single Review: Brainstare / Mantorquim
06 Dec 2021 // by Jamie Denton
Ex-pat Kiwi now based in Tasmania, Steven Hue may be familiar to many through his previous work as former vocalist and co-writer for popular experimental band Full Code, his stint studying at the Nelson School of Music, or his commission work which has seen him produce work for art installations, short files, and video games. Turning his hand to solo electronic music, Steven has just released a double single of two new tracks: Brainstare and Manatorquim.
Read More...
Stray Theories - Album Review: This Light
07 Oct 2021 // by Jamie Denton
Based in Aotearoa New Zealand, Australian musician/composer Micah Templeton-Wolfe has a long, successful history with crafting works that explore rich, lush melodies within vast ambient, cinematic soundscapes. While some of his works have become the soundtracks to independent short films, television and radio commercials, multimedia projects, art installations, and specifically commissioned sound design or compositional pieces, he has also maintained an interest in releasing material as a musical artist.
Read More...
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...
View All Articles By Jamie Denton

NZ Top 10 Singles

  • FIRST CLASS
    Jack Harlow
  • AS IT WAS
    Harry Styles
  • ABOUT DAMN TIME
    Lizzo
  • GO (GODDARD. REMIX)
    Cat Burns
  • COLD HEART (PNAU REMIX)
    Elton John And Dua Lipa
  • HEAT WAVES
    Glass Animals
  • WAIT FOR U
    Future feat. Drake And Tems
  • STARLIGHT
    Dave
  • FRIDAY NIGHT
    King George
  • SHIVERS
    Ed Sheeran
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