Artist: Abîme
Title: Yule EP
Remixers: Main Leaf, Aree
Release Date: 8 July 2022

Supported by Solomun, Joris Voorn, Armin Van Buren, Pete Tong, Paul Oakenfold, Danny Tenaglia, Joseph Capriati, Paul Van Dyk, Anja Schneider, Paul Anthonee, 19:26, Dizharmonia, Modeplex, Paul Angelo & Don Argento, Abstraal, Emiliano Demarco, Leghet, ao. 

Astral Records opens the month of July by welcoming Abime to the label for their debut EP. Hailing from Italy, Gianmarco Merenda and Marco D'Angelo make up the Abime production duo. As DJs for over a decade, the pair have been delighting crowds in their home country with a fresh selection of melodic house and techno. Having honed their production sound for many years, Abime first emerged in 2021 with their 'Elohim' single via Wood Records' Limited division, before going on to contribute a track to Androgyne Audio's 'New Era' compilation which landed in February of this year. Now embarking on their first ever EP project, Abime debuts on Astral Records with 'Sleep Dealer', alongside remixes from Main Leaf and Aree.

Getting the release underway are the deep cosmic sounds of 'Yule'. Dark and mysterious from the outset, it's warm low end and undulating rhythms provide hip swinging drive, while astral hooks and haunting atmospheres fill in the framework. Poignant vocals emerge as the first act progresses, blanketing the pulsating groove, before a wave of sweeping effects provides a bridge into the main break. Cavernous and calm, the centerpiece melts down allowing the vocal to breathe and bringing with it hopeful qualities, before an understated drop sparks a smooth and emotive finale. The companion piece 'Sleep Dealer' surveys a similar design profile but with a further lean into emotive territory. Beginning with a warm voluptuous groove, the piece evolves with dusty percussive arrangements, flickering arps and timely piano stabs providing a thought-provoking storyboard leading into the break. Much like its predecessor, the interlude is calming with effervescent arps and a wave of gentle noise elevating mood into a delightfully deep and heartfelt conclusion.

Making his label debut and providing the first interpretation of 'Yule' is Main Leaf. Born in Italy and now based in Spain, Main Leaf has been crafting his blend of deep melodic techno for the better part of a decade. John OO Fleming's Joof Recordings, Bullfinch, Timeless Moment and his own Wood Records imprint have all been landing spots for his transcendent sound. Now adding Astral Records to his resume, the Barcelona resident debuts on the label with a stunning take on 'Yule'. Setting the piece in motion, a foundation of tight beats, percussive flurries and tranquil arps build momentum, before breaking off as the vocal drops in for a magical dance floor moment. Buzzing sonics, disorienting projections and emotive chord changes add depth and colour leading into the final break, where breakbeat rhythms and one final taste of the vocal put a cap on this creative gem.

Also making his label debut and providing the second and final interpretation of 'Yule' is Aree. Italian artist Francesco Aree aka Aree first emerged in 2016 with a pair of releases via Three Hands Records. The Naples resident has spent the better part of a decade perfecting his craft, eventually leading to projects via Infinite Depth, Ethereal Community Records and Wood Records, while world class DJs Adriatique, Adana Twins, Fideles, Maceo Plex and Tale Of Us have all been supporters along the way. Continuing on an upwards trajectory, Aree now makes his Astral Records debut with a powerful rendition of 'Yule'. Drawing on the sensibilities of the original, the duo rework the foundation with broken beats and shuffling percussion bringing a contemporary state of mind. Resonating perfectly against the breakbeat backbone are the serene vocal phrases, striking at opportune moments, while devilish effects and bleepy sonics provide additional colour onwards to a balmy break and slow burning finale. A heady interpretation from Aree to cap off an excellent release for Astral Records, one where Abime, Main Leaf and Aree all make impressive label debuts.

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