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Runaway – The Fire Below (remixes)

You have to take your hat off to Runaway – they’ve certainly been keeping themselves busy. Following hot on the heels of last month’s organ-riffic Broken Man 12” – a heavyweight chunk of NYC house that wouldn’t have sounded out of place booming out of the Sound Factory speakers during Junior Vasquez’s pomp – comes this impressive remix package. The original version of “The Fire Below” first emerged in December last year, backed by a Cosmo Vitelli remix of another Runaway track, “The Poltergeist”. While Vitelli’s remix got some props, it was “The Fire Below” that tickled most DJs’ fancy. Something of a slow burner, it fused the duo’s now famous tribal-influenced deep house beats with soft-centred piano chords, drawn-out builds and some delicious, starry-eyed synths.

This time round, they’ve asked current men-of-the-moment Azari & III and The Revenge – arguably the hardest working man in Scotland – to take care of the remixes. The former provide a trippy, late night version built around the original’s spiraling synth melodies and gratuitous use of FX. The beats are a touch more crisp than Runaway’s, but the effect is at times beguiling – hypnotic and understated in equal measure.

The Revenge, on the other hand, does his best to draw out the original’s retro-futurist leanings. His version is typically playable, fixing ultra-tweaked vocal hooks onto rock-solid beats and the sort of menacing bassline that wouldn’t have been out of place on a Belgian rave track circa 1992. Into the mix are thrown snippets of the original riff, echo-laden klaxon horns and all manner of subtle piano keys. It’s the winner here by some distance. As way of a bonus, digital buyers can get their hands on The Revenge’s ‘Bassline Dub’. Arguably even better than his exemplary remix, it strips the track down to little more than a booming old skool bassline, hurried percussion and the odd reverb-laden klaxon. As DJ tools go, it’s pretty darn handy. Matt Anniss