Above & Beyond – “Black Room Boy”

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Richard Bedford and Zoe Johnston might have shared most of the vocal duties on Above & Beyond‘s album Group Therapy, but they weren’t the only ones as Above & Beyond member Tony McGuiness made his vocal debut on “Black Room Boy.” The song was fifth on the album’s order, and now it’s the seventh and final single release.

Although the whole album was filled with many club-ready tracks, “Black Room Boy” was definitely one of the standouts. As we heard the other singles, we waited for this one, waiting to see what kind of club mix would eventually materialize. The club mix ultimately takes a much more traditionally progressive house route with it’s gradual yet deep builds before hitting with a force. But as the bassline comes in, I can’t help but think of Eric Prydzepic remix of Depeche Mode’s “Personal Jesus.” While the Eric Prydz remix has a more stripped-down side, it’s almost as if the A&B boys took the “ribbit” bassline and just added their own bells and whistles to it to make it their own. Surely they aren’t the only ones doing this, but I am a bit conflicted about it and the lack of originality with it.

With “Black Room Boy” I definitely expected more from a club mix, and while I do think this is a good song in it’s own right, I can not help but compare it to the aforementioned “Personal Jesus” remix; a stunning minimal and ominous beast. But that’s not where the song ends as the breakdowns give it even more size and as the second drop comes, the song steps away from the Prydz bassline instead adding additional melodic layers as Tony’s vocals once again coo over turning it into a hypnotic dance floor filler. The single package is being released via Anjunabeats just in time as we hit the beginning of festival season so you’ll definitely hear this one on a big system this summer.