Since their inception in 2013, Heist Recordings have quickly become one of the most prolific labels in house music. Dutch duo Detroit Swindle (Lars Dales & Maarten Smeets) founded the label to gain full control over their releases, and to grant likeminded producers a platform to do the same. Over their short, but hectic six year existence, Heist have put out almost 40 releases and 6 compilations. They’ve helped artists like Frits Wentink, Adesse Versions, Fouk, Nachtbraker and Alma Negra reach a wider audience, and hosted heavyweight house veterans such as Matthew Herbert, Pépé Bradock and Byron the Aquarius for some timeless remixes along the way. Despite touring and producing year-round, Lars & Maarten remain dedicated to finding and developing new talent and helping the current Heist roster reach new heights. 2019 was a massive year for Heist, as they introduced a new batch of Dutch up and comers like Perdu and Makèz, and released colossal cuts from themselves and fellow label residents Fouk. However 2020 is already promising to be even bigger, and they’re starting the year off with a bang with The Round Up Part VI.
The Round Up series is a yearly compilation that features Heist artists remixing tracks by other Heist artists. The remixer and remixee are linked at random, with the compilation of remixes then being pressed on a double vinyl (as well as released digitally). The results of the Round Up series have been immense so far, with several remixes from the first five editions becoming staples in DJ sets worldwide. However the sixth edition of Round Up promises to be the best yet. It opens with label heads Detroit Swindle remixing Fouk’s “Need My Space”. They turn the original on its head adding layers of stabbing synths, with a punching bassline and a pounding drum track. Lars & Maarten started Detroit Swindle in 2011, and quickly established themselves as household names in house music with early releases that became instant classics like “The Wrap Around” and “The Break Up”. They’ve since put out two full length albums, and several EP’s on labels such as AUS Music, Dirt Crew Recordings, and their own Heist Recordings. Lars & Maarten’s success with Heist thus far can be traced back to their formula when deciding what to release on the label. They both have to be blown away by the track, it needs to be unique and really display identity, and they really need to feel the personality of the artist through the music. The second track on The Round Up Part VI embodies this vision, as Makèz deliver a sweltering remix of Perdu’s “Sacramento”. Coming hot off the heels of their debut EP “Different Planets” released only four months ago on Heist, the young Dutch duo trade Perdu’s break-beats for a driving bassline and inventively rearrange the elements of Perdu’s original track.
Flip over to the B-side, and Heist residents Fouk provide their high-energy take on Demuir’s “The 3nity Returneth”, while keeping the signature Fouk vibe intact. Halfway into the track the chords wash away like a wave of water on a seashore and when they recede we’re left with a percussionary bliss. Drums that sound as if they’re conversing with each other, but steadily progressing the song. Fouk have only been around for five years, but you might not realize that looking through their already deep catalogue of modern house classics. Their 2015 EP “Kill Frenzy” (on Heist) was the release that saw them blow up in the house scene and led to them DJing at Glastonbury, LoveBox, and across Europe and the rest of the world. The fourth track on the The Round Up Part VI is courtesy of Perdu, another newcomer to Heist. Perdu provides a slow-burning world house music interpretation of Detroit Swindle’s “Music For Clubs”. The acid bassline constantly drives the song forward, but is simultaneously mirrored by the outer-worldly synth symphony. This remix showcases Perdu’s deep understanding of the world of house music with the exotic elements he chooses to use in the track such as pan-pipes. Toronto’s own Demuir gets the nod to finish off this year’s Round Up, and he does so with a relentless dancefloor weapon. Demuir has been in love with house music from a very young age, and has already put out remixes on Fools Gold, and EP’s on Hot Creations, Desolat, Origins and Heist. For The Round Up Part VI’s closer, Demuir remixes Makèz’s “Random Visits”. He manipulates the vocal sample until it rings out over his eerie strings, dreamy keys and a constant groove. It’s an extremely catchy remix that retains all the best elements of the original track, showing just why Heist chose him to close out this year’s sizzling Round Up.
Throughout Fouk’s remix of Demuir’s “The 3nity Returneth” there’s a sample that repeats “Anybody can be a top DJ”. While that may be true, it requires an unrelenting amount of hard work, dedication and perseverance. The stellar cast of DJ’s assembled for the sixth entry of Heist’s Round Up series are all artists who have put in this work and are now reaping the rewards. They’re all at the top of their respective games, and only climbing higher. We’re just lucky that the stars aligned on this EP and we get a slamming remix from each of them on one jam-packed release. Round Up Part IV is bursting at the seams with bright, uplifting chords, refreshing melodies, radiant rhythms, bouncy basslines and piercing vocal samples that cut through the remixes and plant themselves deep in your brain. Good luck getting these tracks out of your head.
Buy The Round Up Part VI on bandcamp.
Review by Jairus.