FENIX URL: http://www.djfenix.com/

Synthesizers are running wild amidst a groove-laden percussion that is as rife with texture as it is rigid in its robotic rhythm. Llexa’s exquisite lead vocal is razor sharp whist navigating the sonic channels set before it, and as vulnerable as her soft serenade can be in the numerous remixes of “Where We Begin,” there’s never any doubts as to its star power in this stunning new collaborative release from Fenix & SM1LO. Together, Fenix & SM1LO give us a multidimensional view of an elaborately constructed electropop composition, whether it be in devastatingly throttling dub mixes or slightly mischievous, constantly larger than life, house mixes that push the boisterous, bass-heavy beats to their very limit.

“Where We Begin” is contemporary pop music on overdrive; for all intents and purposes, it’s one of the most jarring electronic dance pieces that I’ve come in contact with this season, but I would stop short of ever questioning its compatibility with modern audiences that bear a taste for the exotic when it comes to aural satisfaction. The diversity of the mixes here make the record itself a really accessible offering for anyone who loves a solid groove, and I simply love the energy that all of the tracks yield when they’re played together in a single sitting. Often times, listening to a single song in fourteen distinct variations creates a bit of boredom for the more casual pop fans among us, but I don’t think that’s an issue with “Where We Begin.” There’s so much to be studied here, and it never feels like an exercise in overindulgence for even a second.

There’s a tremendous amount of instrumental color in the “Fenix House Dub Mix,” “Sm1lo Remix” and “Kali Remix” of this song, but it doesn’t overshadow the minimalist attitude of the “Radio Edit” versions of the track at all. For the multitude of melodic twists and turns that this record affords us, Fenix & SM1LO have by and large created something that has a lot more in common with a classical LP than it does an indie mixtape. There’s an underlying progressive nuance to this music that keeps us gripping the edge of our seats from start to finish, and you don’t even have to be all that adept an audiophile to pick up on it instantly.

Fans of electronica, R&B and pop will really want to check out this latest project from both Fenix & SM1LO, who pull out all of the stops here and deliver the feverish dance pulse that this summer needed to get started right. “Where We Begin” highlights their creative skillsets behind the soundboard, but it also shares plenty of the spotlight with the brilliantly gifted Llexa, whose vocal contribution to this piece is what makes it the stellar slab of songcraft that it ultimately is. There’s a lot of interesting music making its way to the forefront of pop culture at the moment, but if you’re looking for a slice of surreal club fodder designed for both the affectionate dance fiend and the intellectual music enthusiast alike, you really can’t go wrong with this record.

I-TUNES: https://music.apple.com/album/where-we-begin-feat-llexa/1465810372

Sebastian Cole