When I saw that FKJ (or as I prefer to call him, French Kiwi Juice), the R&B-electro fusion remixer out of Paris, remixed my favorite ZHU track, Paradise Awaits, I basically had a mini-freakout in front of my computer. FKJ’s remix, released on November 13th, masterfully finds a balance between ZHU’s deep house focus and FKJ’s own R&B, smooth hop, talents. We’ve already done one of our New Swoops on ZHU when they broke onto the scene last Spring. “Paradise Awaits” feels like a track you would hear while walking through the Budapest underground, or something like that. It’s deeply raunchy and ominous, mainly due to the mildly “out of tone” bass line which stands at odds with the more melodic synth line which sort of rumbles around the upper registers. Couple this with the sumptuously whispered vocal exclaiming, “I need to be lover, I need to be your King.” That’s as far as I’ll go on this track, mainly because you already have the New Swoop to look at if you want more analysis. This review is REALLY about FKJ and his masterful turn of style. What we first notice is that this track is instantly more melodic than the original, and considerably more up-tempo. Perhaps the most compelling aspect of FKJ’s remixes is the brazen nature with which he experiments with rhythms. We notice immediately that he’s sped up the vocal track and embedded it a bit further into the real star of the remix: the tactile nature of the synth. The upper synth line has a way of feeling “heavy” in that it hits pretty heavily when it comes through, without being short a la staccato. By infusing a rhythmically interesting, bass-focused percussion, FKJ finds a way to accentuate the more interesting rhythmic elements in the vocal. This track is inherently brighter and more “upbeat” than the original, but that doesn’t mean it’s completely separated from the “darker” nature of the original. I believe it’s simply readjusted that feeling in a way that makes it more accessible to the R&B elements FKJ thrives on. If you agree, disagree, want to talk about your feelings, whatever, please comment below with your thoughts! Take a listen to both tracks below.