SM1LO URL: https://www.sm1lo.com/
With an effervescent bounce, we’re brought into the clutches of a burning rhythm in “Where We Begin,” the new single from Fenix & SM1LO featuring Llexa on vocals that has critics in both the underground and the mainstream abuzz this June (for good reason, I might add). “Where We Begin” is packaged as a fourteen-track record of various mixes of its title track, but listeners needn’t feel daunted by the sprawling size of this release. The “Dub Mix” of the song picks up where the original version leaves off and starts to expand on the understated grooves that drive its central hook. A “Radio Edit” of “Where We Begin” gives us a more polished look at Llexa’s singing, which shines its brightest in this particular instance on the record. The “Radio Dub Mix” leans more heavily on the instrumental side of the sonic spectrum, but that’s to be expected when we isolate its burly bassline long enough to appreciate its mammoth depth. It isn’t until we come across the “Fenix House Remix” and it’s very own “Radio Edit” that we start to get into some seriously experimental territory, and ironically, when Fenix & SM1LO begin to really explore their chemistry as collaborators.
The “Fenix House Dub Mix” grinds with a zeal that is hard to get out of our minds after we’ve been exposed to it for the first time, and it’s all thanks to the track’s absurdly pronounced percussive sway. As far as the beats go, they’re not quite as assaultive cosmetically as they are structurally (from a songwriter’s perspective), but I can see why Fenix & SM1LO decided to take the direction that they did here. House is a lot more complex a style than certain less than erudite music critics would give it credit for, and the complicated, dexterous rhythms of the scene’s old school are alive and well in this version of “Where We Begin.” “Fenix Club Remix” breaks the stride of the house-centric material by introducing elements of surrealism that will be further expanded upon in the “Fenix Club Dub Mix,” a mix that I would deem the biggest crossover to behold here.
With the “Sm1lo Remix” of “Where We Begin,” Llexa’s lead gets a brand new sparkle that contrasts significantly with both the original mix of the song as well as the “Kali Remix,” which brings the record to a conclusion. Though all three present an up-close and personal view of the lyrical content, it’s SM1LO’s signature remix that probably captures the essence of Llexa’s performance better than any other here. As a hardcore music buff and longtime electronic pop fan, I could spend hours poring over the volume of intricacies that Fenix & SM1LO included in this unforgettable collaboration, but even if I weren’t as inclined towards audiological magic, I have a feeling that I would still be just as attracted to the aesthetical wonderment of “Where We Begin” as I am now. This is the most engaging selection of nightclub-approved soundscapes that I’ve had the pleasure of listening to this season, and I think that it’s going to make for quite the attention-getter for the artists behind its conception.
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