Artist: Jody Wisternoff
Title: Nostalgia
Label: In Charge Records
By: Illya Zubaryev | 17 October 2006
  • A: Original Mix
  • B: Remix

Jody Wisternoff "Nostalgia"

Out Now on In Charge Records

Jody Wisternoff is certainly not a new name in the dance music world. It's just that, until recent years, most people recognized him as only one half of the world-renowned duo, Way Out West. So, despite all of his achievements in music, as Jody's solo career beings to gain momentum; significant effort, resolve and skill are still a must. However, with 'Cold Drink, Hot Girl' an instant world-wide hit, another promising project on the side, and of course the release in question here – it looks like Jody's not going to have any problems at all with his ever-popular solo musical identity. After all, this 12" beauty titled 'Nostalgia' is already getting substantial DJ and fan support alike. Let's see why…

First, we have the original version of Nostalgia which is a massive progressive house tune. The drum track is simple and 4/4 in nature, but very fitting at the same time. After a 30 second stripped-down introduction, a very deep bass line comes in. Infectious and groovy, it helps set a playful tone for the song and plays a main defining roll throughout. A matching piano chord riff fades in to go along with the bass and all the elements one by one are progressively coming into the fray now. One thing Jody does so well is use simple, melodic notation but involve a large amount of different sounds that all fit and compliment one another perfectly within this straightforward structure. It is easy to hear that the idea behind the track was to go back to the groovy roots of disco, dance and house but still maintain a fresh, original more modern production sound as well. With a wonderful dance vibe, light synthesizer stabs, sweet classic strings, a funky guitar sample and even some frivolous, but subtle vocal samples thrown in; this track is sure to fill any musical void that nostalgic listeners may have in their lives. It may seem surprising that most producers don't look back or trying to create something fun, groovy and melodic anymore, but then again maybe it's not that startling considering how difficult it is to do something of this nature very well in the new millennium. This production is so smooth and the idea is so well presented, that one wonders what the remix may hold in store for us on the flip.

The first difference I noticed with the Nostalgia remix is that not only does the drum track now consist of a 1 / 2 break, but more importantly it has some wonderful 80s sounding tom samples for fills and breaks throughout the song. The bass line is now less heavy, but provides great definition all the same. The track is still melodic and an homage to the past akin to the original, but certainly different as well. The chorus and main melody of the original track are based mainly on a piano riff, strings and the bass line, while this remix has a more trance-like main synth melody with more electronic, reverberating synths flying around with some arpeggios. Another noticeable element is the tempo, which is somewhat slower than what some people may prefer, but I think it's actually a positive attribute. First, it allows the listener to hear all of the wonderful sequencing and sampling work Jody did, highlighting the beautiful melodies, synthesizer stabs, soaring pads, all of the details and I have to say, even those delicious toms. Second, DJs can always pitch this tune up to their liking and it still shines as Armin van Buuren clearly demonstrated when he played this tune alongside faster trance and progressive tracks on his popular radio show, A State of Trance. Although there are melodic and structural similarities between the original and remix, in all honesty this version of 'Nostalgia' could have been titled differently altogether.

Conclusively, both tracks bring about a warm, happy feeling, with funky samples returning from decades past within a production structure that is smooth and modern too. One of the most appealing features is the extremely accessible nature of this release. Even very conscientious minimal techno aficionados will find this track very fulfilling at one time or another in their lives. Not meant to be complex, mind-bending and futuristic, the tracks are wonderful for what they are – Jody's vision and goals clearly fulfilled. Whether you want to relax and smile or party and dance, it's a track perfect for a sunny summer day, but good enough to delight your heart on a dreary, cold autumn afternoon too. An original idea presented exceptionally well; paying tribute to the sounds of the past in a very special way. Like a wicked dance tune that was never released from years ago has been found and thrown into a production blender to be revamped. A wonderful follow-up to 'Cold Drink, Hot Girl', it's exciting to wait and see what Jody Wisternoff releases next. Highly recommended.

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