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SPY – By Your Side Review

For those not in the know, the man known as S.P.Y. has been largely responsible for ensuring that Brazil stays firmly on the discerning D&B fan’s radar in recent times. Along with Patife, Marky et al, he’s been keeping the home fires burning with a slew of hot singles, remixes and collabs throughout the past couple of years and 2010 was undoubtedly a vintage year for the in-demand DJ/producer. Still, it looks like 2011 could be his best year yet if this new release on Steve BCee’s Spearhead imprint is anything to go by.

“By Your Side” is a stone cold classic which has been rinsed relentlessly in parties up and down the country over the last few months. The track deservedly made it on to Marky’s highly anticipated Fabriclive 55 mix, numerous compilations and was a major fixture in all end of year top 10 D&B round ups worth their salt. And no wonder, the beautiful instrumental intro with haunting clarinet flourish, delicate harp glimmer, warm sweeping High Contrast-style cinematic strings, scattering breaks and swooning vocal made it a ubiquitous feel good anthem for D&B fans from across the board. Uplifting and emotional, it pushes all the right buttons and will continue to do so for a long time yet. Crisp breaks, warm, undulating bass and an incredible orchestral passage to guide us towards to the end.  It’s a true masterpiece from S.P.Y, no question.

Just when you thought it couldn’t get much better, Logistics takes over for the remix on the figurative flip. Well matched to the sound of the original, Hospital lynchpin Matt Gresham delivers a reimagination rich in style and panache, roughing it up a bit with crunchy breaks, peak time drum rolls and upping the tempo with trademark zest and zeal. Teasing out a euphoric edge to the vocal, he ensures the lyrical quality is reinforced by buckets of bass and swathes of swirling atmospherics which add a driving energy to the piece. Whilst retaining the style of S.P.Y’s original, Logistics transforms ‘By Your Side’ it into a decidedly more dancefloor driven piece of D&B that has certainly been killing it in the clubs of late. Good work all round.

“By Your Side” is quite simply sublime and a lovely slice of musical sunshine, undoubtedly one of S.P.Y’s strongest releases to date. With all the hallmarks of a well-loved future anthem that we will return to again and again for that familiar endorphin rush, it is an essential 12” and a resounding success for the producer at the start of 2011.

Belinda Rowse