Walt J – Reborn (DJ Qu’s Journey Towards Birth Remix)
XLR8R ran an editorial on DJ Qu back in 2011. The New Jersey native was quoted claiming ‘House and Techno used to be one thing. Now Derrick May is techno and Kerri Chandler is house, but I never saw a difference’. Such way of thinking is one that plays out in his productions. The Strength Music Recordings boss is perfectly adept at making Techno as he is Deep House. ‘Slinkily motorik drive’ Boomkat calls ‘Get Sum‘, which is his powerful delineation of a Oval Space peaktime heater. ‘Eden’ is a Deep House cut with tenebrous atmospherics, and a shamanic bounce that would be a Oxford Dictionary description for a forest rave like Gottwood Festival. ‘Party People Clap’ was probably his breakthrough track. With 2562 to Ellen AllIen bring it out of their crate, it blew up globally alongside the accompanying remixes found in the EP. And on this remix of Walt J’s ‘Reborn‘, he straddles the two tags with superiority. Released in 2010 on Curle Recordings, it’s a lean but heavy-duty version of the original.
Sampling Mr Fingers’ iconic ‘Can You Feel It’ hit, ‘Reborn’ is a carnivorous track. It’s enjoyed to this day, with Version 2 making this years Electronic Groove’s ‘Top 15 Tracks Played at Movement Torino‘. While the original bolsters the hats that are played with the vigour of Varg Vikernes taking the lead, DJ Qu’s subtle filtering of the hats let the rest of the track shine. The ticker tape sample with the echo synth give the track instant thrust, like a derailed train moving at a crushing pace. Adding layer upon layer of harmonisation makes it a symposium of staccato notes. All intricately laced together, the track is an amaroidal punch to the ear. Filtering the disparate notes, it really takes flight when the ticker notes are crammed in at double time. Once the listener is cruising at full pace like a Jet Stream, wooden kootz jink at will. Meanwhile, the phenomenal ‘Next To You’ vocal is suppressed to the max. The whispy nature helps carry the picture that one is flying to full effect. It is as though Nina Kraviz took some Nitros Oxide whilst doing Yoga. The go-to track to take the dancefloor sky high.
DJ Qu is part of a collective of avant-garde US East Coast producers. DJ Jus-Ed, Fred P, Joey Anderson, Anthony Parasole and Levon Vincent all carry the same emotive spiritual texture within all their tracks. Being called the ‘Journey Towards Birth Remix’ it unquestionably alludes to a spiritual context. Whether that may be a reference to the Buddhists concept of reincarnation or the Christian tenant of Baptism, the religious connotation is clear. The title is all the more fascinating when you consider that in an interview with fabric Qu claims that if ‘If I [he] to pinpoint when [he] got into music, it was really from birth‘. With this in mind it’s ironic that Walt J hadn’t released a track for 15 years before this EP. He must’ve gotten a real thrill in releasing it. The dancefloor surely will experience the same rush.