Considering the many standout remixes with which they have graced our label over the years, it is hard to believe that veteran duo Illuminor are now presenting their very first original EP on our imprint. The Australian team of Michael Ware (who, lest we forget, performed the unforgettable vocal on Dan Sieg's classic "No Way Back Up") and Joe Benger offer a triumphant 3-track release, including the anthemic "Yuanfen" and more pensive "Lullaby."
The Original Mix of "Yuanfen" sets off on a jubilant note, courtesy of an uplifting progressive house groove and layered, trance-influenced bassline. Rapturous chords are punctuated by a variety of East-inspired vocal samples and instrumental touches, as suggested by the title, which loosely translates to "destiny" from its native Chinese. After a thrilling crescendo, the listener is met by a radiant and climactic chord sequence that continues through the drop. Everything we love about peak-hour melodic progressive is captured in the song's final minutes: gorgeous melodic and vocal layers soar above a high-octane rhythm.
The subsequent cut, "Lullaby," is a more subdued progressive house offering, yet no less emotive, courtesy of inspired production and songwriting alike. A gentle groove, subtle vocal effects, and echoing guitar licks fill out the soundscape. After two wonderful verses, we are treated to the chorus and titular refrain ("Your lullaby / it will be my dream"), a romantic and soothing lyrical motif that is repeated in the gentle "drop" section to follow.
Closing out the release, Illuminor offers a stripped-down, 'acoustic' version of "Lullaby." Michael Ware of Illuminor's intelligent songwriting and impassioned vocals receive a well-earned spotlight in this one, and they do not fail to captivate the listener.