There’s absolutely no denying that Rene Pais knows how to work with vocals. Under his long-running DNS Project name, he’s delivered stunning work such as Mindful and LT3 favorite Timestep with vocalist Johanna. This time around, he releases a two-track single called If I Just Listened / 2Day on Armada’s vocal-focused sublabel S107. He has included the voice of veteran trance vocalist Madelin Zero, who has credits to her name such as appearances on ATB’s 2004 album No Silence.
Like Another Day / Redeemer, DNS Project’s last single featuring Madelin’s work, this release includes one vocal track and one solo instrumental. If I Just Listened is a fairly dark track accented by the same flourishes of vocal harmonies that characterize his past vocal work. Madelin’s voice is grounded well in the layers of melodies that support it, giving her subtle vocals a gritty depth. The lead synth that builds out of the break runs the risk of sounding a bit commercial, but the melody is just clever enough to keep it from that fate. On the other hand, 2Day sounds like a mild departure from the DNS Project style that we’re familiar with, taking a slightly housier angle than his last instrumental release, Exclusive. This change isn’t a bad thing, as 2Day is still a solid track, but If I Just Listened definitely steals the spotlight on this release. DNS Project is adapting to the changing times as any other trance producer would, and it’ll be interesting to keep an ear on him in the months to come.