Wind Horse Records returns to the roots of the label with Hamza's worldly new single "Thar". Since founding Wind Horse over six years ago Hamza has released a number of expressive singles for his growing imprint, as well as on the likes of Colour and Pitch, Freizeitglauben Berlin, Grouper, and Savoir Faire Musique. The foundation of Hamza's 'modus operandi' has been the combination of western and eastern sounds, resulting in a timeless melding of deep house with global instrumentation such as those found in his native India. The two originals on this single certainly display this aesthetic, creating dance floor moments with a distinctive amount of depth.
"Thar" is named after a desert in the Rajasthan state of India, known as a place inhabited by gypsies. These same gypsies travelled south to Spain and influenced the flamenco sound, as referenced in the track. Hamza has been playing with Rajasthani gypsy musicians for many years, and "Thar" stands as a shining example of the fusion of their traditional sounds with deep house. Touching on a different spot in the world, the b-side track "Afro Turk" is inspired by Turkey and Hamza's travels to Istanbul. The rhythm maintains an African influence which inspires the title. Exotic instrumentation and intriguing environmental sounds melt over the layers of percussion and low, growling bass line. The gorgeous extended breakdown could soundtrack a leisurely stroll through the famous Grand Bazaar.
The second half of the single presents a trio of fantastic remixes of "Thar" by members of the extended Wind Horse family. Miami's Juan Mejia (Dutchie Music) is first, delivering a cool and bouncy rendition that balances the dramatic strums with gentle piano notes, all underpinned by some serious house beats. The New Delhi-based Oma is next, adding a touch of darkness to the proceedings. A pulsing low end and a clicky rhythm track propel the track's vision as the dream-like sonic space is wrapped in the more exotic textures from the original. Stalvart John, a DJ / producer from Bangalore, closes out the single with a sparse, dubbier treatment of "Thar." Anchored by a crisp four-on-the-floor, this remix is a heady journey, taking the listener to quite a few different places within its hypnotic seven and a half minutes.
Nick Warren - "I love Hamza's original tracks."
Ben Mono (Undertones Gang / Plant Music) - "Huge release."
Marques Wyatt - "I'm digging this."
Benji Candelario - "'Thar' is a funky tune."
Al Bradley (3am Recordings) - "More excellent vibes from Hamza. I'm particularly digging 'Afro Turk' … I love the percussion and the flow. Remix-wise, Stalvart John turns in a cracker, but the whole EP is great overall."
Alvaro Hylander (DeepWit) - "Pretty cool original mixes here, and I also like Juan Mejia's more straight forward version."
Dutchican Soul (Strictly Rhythm / Salted Music) - "Cool tracks and remixes!"
Scheibosan (Shanti Roots / FM4) - "Great tracks … I will play them for sure."
Matt Prehn (Oh So Coy / Large Music) - "I love the percussion on 'Afro Turk' … this'll sizzle at sunset!"
Simon Kirk (Stag Beetle Radio Show) - "I'm a big fan of the exotic eastern sound and here it's done with such a cool, deep twist. The Oma mix just drives and drives with that bass line … fantastic."
Adam Warped (Whiskey Pickle / Strange Days) - "'Thar' is really something special and will definitely be getting a lot of play from me for quite some time."
DJ Di Costa (MoodyLushious Influences) - "Quality release once again on Wind Horse Records. Hamza offers two excellent and truly intriguing mysterious tales. My top pick though is Juan Mejia's remix on 'Thar' … he really managed to enrich the beauty of the track in a whole new level."
Jon Manley (hOUSEwORX) - "Wow, this is superb stuff from Hamza. That breakdown on 'Afro Turk' is stunning. Top marks."
Joshua Jacobs (Music You Need) - "With Middle-Eastern and Asian influences galore, this release makes you feel like you're in the middle of the desert. Groovy, eclectic, and soulful all at once."
DJ Naz (Buddha Bar) - "This release just reminded me why I love this label so much. A return to the melodic warm sound. All the tracks are totally playable and have enough beautiful elements, nice bass lines, strings, and they progress very nicely. Absolutely great!"