Silk Digital’s second release of the year is by one of its most beloved artists, Shingo Nakamura. His 2012 was memorable, to say the least: not only was he responsible for numerous top-charting hit singles and remixes, but he also received radio support from Above & Beyond, Markus Schulz, and countless other top international DJ’s, cementing his place in the top tier of global progressive artists. This release features “Khafre”, a standout track from his “Sapporo” artist album, as well as the brand new track “Perception”. On remix detail, we are thrilled to announce the return of Simon Sheppard, a tremendous Canadian talent who was responsible for several praiseworthy remixes in 2012, as well as veteran Lithuanian duo Not Okay, extremely gifted peak-hour progressive producers in their own right.
The title cut of the EP, “Khafre”, is a collaboration between Shingo and his Japanese countryman Kyohei Akagawa. The track features a dark, yet groovy bassline, from which a pensive atmosphere develops. As the “storyline” continues into the main break, the listener is transported back in time to the great Egyptian kingdom, ruled by the titular Fourth Dynasty pharoah. At this moment, we are met by a gorgeous piano theme, which seems to herald the vision of the Great Sphinx, carved during Khafre’s reign.
Not Okay, known for clubby, yet intricate and intelligent peak-hour grooves, do not disappoint with their new rendering. The high octane bassline jets out of the gate early, with the lead piano motif dancing overhead. The percussion, which starts out slightly “minimal,” begins to add layers, as the song approaches the midpoint. In the main break, the main melodic themes and rhythm begin to fade out, as if to signal a closure to the tune. Instead, a new layered synth theme emerges from the “darkness” and begins to euphorically crescendo with tremendous force, leading into a climactic drop.
The second original cut by Shingo, “Perception”, showcases the Sapporo-based artist’s many talents. A smooth, almost “weightless” rhythm that gently tickles the air is soon met by a quintessentially resonant and buoyant groove. Soon thereafter, a delicate piano motif emerges, which, the listener can rest assured, develops into a moving lead theme. Meanwhile, various chords and side melodies dance ebulliently in the forefront, as subtle background pads further enhance the soundscape. In the main break, Shingo’s unparalleled piano work is once again on display, while the lead chords blissfully crescendo alongside.
Closing out the single, Canadian sensation Simon Sheppard offers a driving take on “Perception”, which is truly electrifying. He is quickly getting a reputation as a true “producer’s producer”, as he continues to craft songs that are not only great fun on the dancefloor, but also sonically ornate and technically superlative. This rendering centers on a meaty bassline groove, which packs a powerful, yet “refined” low-end punch. The fully-loaded rhythm also offers a hypnotic swing, while richly melodic pads slowly crescendo in the background. In the main break, we are treated to a true showcase of sound design, as a broken-beat rhythm maintains the momentum. Meanwhile, the pads swirl and intensify, providing almost overwhelming aural stimulation to the listener.