Originally released in May of this year, Manchester Rain’s eponymous debut single arrived as a diverse anthem of impressive beats and intense rhymes. It was a slice of sonic wonder that put the Northern bred UK producer and artist into the spotlight, but it was the way he released it that really put Manchester Rain of music’s map.
The single became the heart of an intriguing competition, one that asked participants to remix the single in their own unique way. The best four tracks, as picked the Subdust Music earned some well-deserved cash prizes, as well as a spot alongside the Vintage Division remix on the official release, culminating in an extensive five-track release.
While the original single was an emotive roll through the heart of Manchester, building on haunting saxophones, ambient pulses and a racing digital soul, the remixes all add their own spin on the modern Manchester sound. Yann Seller opens up the tracks more soulful tones through some electronic wizardry and the inclusion of more ambient, almost industrial tones that soon fall away into a New Order-esque piece. Lorensso x Roman Chokurov change the focus of the track while maintaining the spirit and electronic heart, but its Skynoise’s version that is really striking. A remix that brings a more human element to the track, it’s a far more subtle incarnation of the piece that is both vibrant and wonderfully powerful.
Zrylc creates an upbeat club anthem in his reworking, cutting back the track to its bare bones and propelling it forward on the back of some slick percussion and fleeting electronic dalliances, all of which leads to the final piece by fellow Manchurian Vintage Division. A house remix that clutches firmly to drum and bass roots, Vintage Division’s take on the single is a stellar showing of depth and brilliance.
There’s always something intriguing when it comes to remixing releases. The ability for different artists to completely rework a piece while holding form to its origins means that the release can be both incredibly diverse and fantastically familiar. In this case, the remixes have managed to take a gem of a track and cut it into five new anthems that are all-powerful in their own unique ways. They’re intertwined pieces that will cater to so many different tastes, and while the appeal can’t always be universal, the remixes have made it certain that ‘Manchester Rain’ will be noticed and appreciated.
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