Palava (Nicholas Bennison Remix)

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Support: Eddie Halliwell, Christopher Lawrence, John 00 Fleming, DJ Preach


Michal Poliak has been on a tear with a slew of amazing productions, and delivers another stunner for his second outing on Propulsion.

Palava's bassline bubbles around class melodies and a haunting vocal line. Serious ripping synths bolster the intense breakdown before twisting back into the progressive beat. The second mix pumps just a little harder with a unique drive and big euphoric riff to keep the vibe fun and energetic.

Nicholas Bennison takes things deeper with his progressive trance mix. The bassline throbs as dirty chords stab and synths grind. A dramatic breakdown gives way to an abstract mechanical riff unlike any other."

And to round off the package is Walachia, a tech-heavy progressive banger built around a massive grinding riff, sick stabs and infectious groove.

Release: June 15 2009

Michal’s sound is characterized as a dynamic and energetic mixture of electro, pumping groovy techno, tech-house and trance and it’s no surprise that Carl Cox has playlisted his productions, most notably on a recent essential mix! This latest offering from the propulsion stable is a very unique beast. At it’s core this release is without a doubt progressive trance, but he’s taken it to an entirely new level by adding some amazing atmospheric elements that borrow from the techno, trance and electro realms. The main attraction on this release is ‘Palava’, which showcases a haunting vocal line. Along with the original is an Alternative Mix and a remix by label head Nicholas Bennison. Rounding things out is a second production by Michal titled ‘Walachia’.

Michal Poliak - Palava
The beast slowly wakes up. You don’t have enough time to react and before you know it, its in your face. The beast is the track (in case that wasn’t obvious), and though it does seem to take some time to get it’s footing, it pushes on effortlessly. Before we know it we’re half way through the track and we’re woken from a hypnotic state to the sound of a haunting vocal line far in the distance. It approaches, tension builds and anticipation boils as the crash comes, and goes, like haunted winds on a cold autumn day. If this is your style of trance, do yourself a favor, have a sample above!

Michal Poliak - Palava (Alternate Mix)
This version cranks up the tempo some, effectively shaking off some of the cobwebs I’ve had hanging around lately. The vocal line still haunts this version, but added to the mix is a Marcel Woods-esque riff that sends shivers down my spine. The track is a driving little trance number that borders on techno thanks to its groovy and bouncy bassline. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear Cox drop this bomb.

Michal Poliak - Palava (Nicholas Bennison Remix)
Ah, the heavy hitting label master Nicholas. His sound is as distinct as a bride on her wedding day. Taking the originally heavy on the techno side production, Nicholas adds a hint of psy (but a sprinkle) and creates a track that reminds me of what high paced techno used to be back in 2002. Everything is perfectly balanced and the inclusion of a beefed up melody, along with sidechained elements, truly gives the track limitless depth. Toss in that haunting voice for good measure and you’ve got a deep and spooky tech trancer that’s sure to whip any crowd into a frenzy.

Michal Poliak - Walachia
We’re back into 100% Poliak territory now, and unlike his quiet sleeper on the A-side, ‘Walachia’ comes out guns-a-blazin’. He’s removed the deep and dark aura and added to the track a groovy little progression that feels right at home with say, DJ Preach or Eddie Halliwell. This track has a monster riff that saws and cuts its way through the meat of the track and reaches your ears in a blissful laser reaching emotion.

The Verdict
What Michal has done here is create trance that allows clubbers to do more than simply jump up and down. These trancers are dancy. These trancers are groovy. These trancers are unique. If you’re looking for a breath of fresh air in a world of trance that is too often stale, this is for you! As for my favourite, I’m having a really hard time choosing. It’s a toss up between Bennison’s remix and ‘Walachia’.

Score: 8/10
Andre LeFort (musicritics.com)