Review of This Life (Bwana Remix) by Josef Salvat
Relative new-comer Josef Salvat has taken the blogosphere by storm of late and shows signs of being an early contender for “This Year’s Next Big Thing”, if said bloggers and music reviewers are to be believed. He has even been the subject of a New Band Of The Day on the Guardian’s music section.
I however do not have my finger on the pop culture pulse. I don’t know if this kid is being hyped up as the next darling of the Indie Pop scene, or whether he is being championed by various influential radio jocks or music mags and I certainly pay little attention to what the latest YouTube sensation is (I think I was the last person on earth to hear Gotye and I’m delighted to say that I still don’t know what a “Harlem Shake” is, despite constant references to it appearing in my Facebook timeline).
Anyone who has read any of my other reviews on the site will notice a theme to my reviews: I like house music. I live it, breathe it, mix it and make it. Apart from the 45 minutes each weekday morning that I listen to Chris Evans 99% of the music I listen to in the car, at my desk or generally on the move, is house music.
Even for someone as blinkered as I know I am, I do realise there is other music out there and occasionally I pop my head out of my housey shell to see what’s what. And it was on one of these brave little segues that I came across this remix.
The vocal chants are nicely layered and reverbed with the use of some very nicely produced synths which give a very light and airy feel to the tune early on. After the build the tune is stripped back to a simpler and less effected chant, while the main vocal is introduced, along with a pleasantly skippy percussion set that reminds me of the one used in the Jamie XX remix of Adele’s ‘Rolling In the Deep‘ from a few years ago, with it’s structure and stab of snares.
‘This Life’ is relatively short so doesn’t have a lot of time to develop as much as most tunes I normally review and buy/play, but then they are generally much longer and designed to do just that. The point of tunes like these are to serve as an accompanying vehicle for the vocals. The track does however build throughout to regain a lot of the body and presence hinted at in the intro, with the synths, strings and vocal chants building throughout the tune to a very nice crescendo at its conclusion.
In the past I have spent pockets of time of varying length listening to the likes of Röyksopp, The XX and Jose Gonzales and it is these artists that this remix puts me in the mind of. Having listened to the original on Josef Salvat’s SoundCloud page I’m not sure if I would buy his album, but if said album were to feature more tracks in same vein as the Bwana remix I would very much be interested.
As a side note, if you like slightly melodic, trip-hop and/or experimental electronica I urge you to check out Bwana’s SoundCloud page or follow him on Facebook or Twitter the guy has serious talent and really is one to watch! Particular favourites from his page are ‘Baby Let Me Finish‘ and ‘You Never Stop‘, but I’ve just spent a massive chunk of time pouring through his entire page and am well and truly hooked!
Review by Rob Coghlan