Faithless - Insomnia (Compa Remix) (WXWL003)

Compa has strayed away from his primary sound, cavernous, sweeping dubstep, to try his hand at remixing something that probably falls into the "club classics" category, the instantly recognisable Insomnia by Faithless.

Whilst it would've been easy to take the vocals, and stick it over a standard, deep-dubstep beat, gotta give credit to Compa for turning his hand to something a little different to what fans may have expected.

Stripping back the famed reverb-soaked, plucked strings to a bare minimum (the "din-din-dindindin-din-din" appears only a few times during the track), Maxi Jazz's vocals instead sit over a distinctly Berlin-influenced thudding techno beat, reminiscent of some of Villalobos' darker moments (namely the similarly lengthed Dexter), that wouldn't fit so much in a basement full of hoody wearing head nodders, but more in the early hours in a spacious warehouse. Whether Compa is well versed in the darker side of Techno, I'm not sure, but if he isn't, he's certainly doing a good impression of someone that is.

One thing I've always rated in Compa's work, that I think goes quite unnoticed is his creation of huge atmospheres, sweeping pads and delays used to near-perfection, certainly on a par with the more heralded likes of Clubroot and Kryptic Minds. It's a shame then, that he only hints at what could've been on this remix. Around the 1:30 mark, he teases us with a restrained, fleeting use of the original's refrain, that if used a little more regularly, would've really set this track off nicely.

This track was an interesting one for me to look at. I can always appreciate an artist shaking things up and going out of their comfort zone, especially when you're gonna press that experimentation to vinyl and release it on your own label, and fair play to Compa for making a 4x4 tune without completely pandering to those of us that spend a little too much money at Topman.

You can pre-order the vinyl-only release from the WXWL Surus store now.