A white-hot percussive wallop awaits all who give the “Fenix Club Dub Mix” of Fenix & SM1LO’s all-new single “Where We Begin” (which features none other than Llexa on lead vocals) a spin, but that’s not the only reason why I would implore you to check out this smoldering underground gem this month. The energy is unstoppable and thoroughly contagious as we make our way through this edition of the song and the thirteen others that join it on this collaborative record from the much-buzzed indie powerhouses, and while there’s a lot for us to take in here, there’s no getting around the intoxicating tonality of the instruments, the gilded swagger of Llexa’s singing, and the constant attention to detail that Fenix & SM1LO exhibit in this awesome new project.
The “Fenix Club Remix,” “Fenix Club Radio Dub MIX” and “Kali Remix” of “Where We Begin” are all about sonic ferocity, whereas the original cut of the track, “Radio Edit” and “Dub Mix” are more focused on the fragile framework of the composition, and more than anything else, the elegance of its most memorable harmonies. While these are all fun mixes, there’s a little more intensity in the club-oriented material than there is in the house stuff, with both sets turning the spotlight towards different elements within the sound that Fenix & SM1LO generate when they’re in the recording studio together.
Across the whole of this record, the textural expression of the instruments is perhaps even more impactful than the lyrics that Llexa is singing to us. This isn’t to dismiss what she’s doing with the mic in her hands here; in fact, quite the contrary. She sets the bar pretty high with her dynamic approach to the verses, but the melodicism of the synths alone is more than enough to give us a good idea of the depth of emotion that is in play in “Where We Begin.” This is a testament to the talents of these players, and even more so, to their commitment to this medium.
There’s never an instance where it feels like Fenix, SM1LO or even Llexa are competing for our attention in this collection of mixes; I would actually argue that they bring out the best in each other without overstating the theme of the music here wonderfully. The dance beats are overwhelming at times, particularly as we get deeper into the tracklist, but there’s always a cohesive centerpiece to every stitch of material that we end up hearing. That’s tough to pull off with a collaboration, but these cats make it look and sound all too seamless.
I can’t speak for my contemporaries, but as far as I’m concerned, I really cannot wait to hear more music like this from Fenix & SM1LO, who have picked an awesome time to unleash “Where We Begin” on us. Summer needs a special soundtrack to make its cool evenings beside a beach bonfire just as exciting as the nights we spend tearing up the dancefloor, and in this piece, led by the sensuous sounds of Llexa, we get a set of songs that will suit most any occasion that this storied season could possibly throw our way.