I’ve gushed before about how exhilarating it is when a track can deliver a lot in the intro alone, but this can make it hard for the rest of the track to live up to the entrance. However, Ayda’s latest release on Alter Ego more than rises to this particular challenge. With a track name like Pharaoh, which immediately evokes sweeping desert panoramas and ancient riches, this Russian newcomer—who made a dramatic statement with Coliseum earlier this year, gaining ASOT support—sets the bar high and follows up the riveting intro with a well-constructed break melody. The drop is a bit understated but rounds off the track neatly.
The James Dymond remix takes the release up to a truly memorable level. Kicking it a few BPM higher and into uplifting territory, the remix fulfills all the potential of the original mix, overlaying vocal and choral samples in the break to fantastic effect. It’s always possible for a track to sound horribly cheesy or trite with too much choral layer, but the interplay of a solo voice set against male choral vocals deep in the background, with the ubiquitous female vocals used more sparingly, is perfect. This is a remix done right, and Pharaoh is a release for Alter Ego to be proud of.