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LABEL: Sony BMG RELEASE DATE: April 28, 2006 GENRE: Tech House
// review by Jeff

Panic... destruction... SURESHOT!

Tomcraft is one the world's top DJs, and is probably best known for that big summertime hit "Loneliness" in 2003. But this is not all he should be known for. After a slew of provoking singles and three solid albums under his belt, he should be praised for more than just one song that managed to snag the attention of numerous scantily-clad clubbers across the globe. So I shall bring to the foreground one of his more recent singles from his 2006 album "HyperSexyConscious", to show that Tomcraft can bring more to the table than just pure loneliness.

Sureshot is an interesting slice of electrominimalism. Now, initially, when this song was released on vinyl back in 2005, it was not accompanied by any rapping (though there were vocals; these appear on the other versions of the song besides the radio edit featured here). However, for the Radio Mix here, we get to enjoy the rap stylings of Tai Jason, the co-producer of some of his more recent works, including the album "HyperSexyConscious", as well as German comedy rapper Sido, who generally sports a giant silver skull mask when in character...for no apparent reason. Anyway, Sido raps in German and Tai Jason takes on some English lyrics. Yet no matter which language is being spoken, the rapping is just funny. Tai Jason tries to sound cool and serious, but it ends up seeming a bit oafish. "We gon' take it to the lake the next day, Jamberry Juice and Alizée..." Delicious. The background music is actually a bit of a change from Tomcraft's usual fare, more electro with various odd squelches floating around like clouds, but still bearing that dark Tomcraft sound that we all know and love. And by we, I probably am only referring to myself here. It's not his most catchy track ever, but it just might catch you ear like a manic fishing lure. The Clubmix does not feature the rap funk of Sido or Tai Jason, instead using vocals of unknown origin, saying a variety of brief mini-phrases, including the cool one: "Panic, destruction... Sureshot!" The instrumental aspect is not different from that of the Radio Mix version, so expect more of the same.

Then there's the Moonbootica Remix. I like Moonbootica; they always take songs, funky or not, and make them even funkier with their electrohouse grooves. They still use all the main elements from the original, including that squelching noise that may be annoying to some, and add their own unique house synth noise plus a slightly softer but equally potent kick to give us something that's not too far from the original, but still bleeding of Moonbootica flair. I'm sure they have done better remixes, but hey, this one won't kill you. Next is a remix by Lützenkirchen, who has helped Tomcraft produce his works as well. This is a different remix with only the vocals from the Clubmix intact -- it features a strong bass synth in the foreground plus a beat that will rock your subwoofers like it's Christmas at St. Helens. Overall it's much grittier than anything else on this single, but I'm sure it could get some toes a-tappin'. The final remix comes from experienced electro-artist Thomas Schumacher, whom I recognized as the man behind the awful song "Tainted Schall", a truly deranged take on the classic Soft Cell track "Tainted Love". His remix here is equally quirky, with crazy electro-noises all over the place. Bits of the original do make their way in though, which I am thankful for because I wouldn't know what track it was without the spliced-in samples. The vocals (still from the Clubmix) are still chopped (and perhaps reversed). Eventually it ends up just being a bit of a clunky mess. That's sad; Mr. Schumacher was just too daring for Sureshot.

This single also features the video for Sureshot, which is pretty damn dark but highlights well the dark atmosphere presented by the song itself. Sido and Tai Jason spout out their verses, while the big man Tomcraft just sorta hangs around (and eventually gets punched in the gut and sent flying in slow-motion into the darkness, which is reason enough to watch the video). The video is basic but gets the job done. And the "Making Of..." segment is only interesting to people who like that sort of thing, logically.

Overall, this single seems to showcase the new direction that Tomcraft had decided to take with his music. More electro than ever (yeah, there's that buzzword again), Tomcraft is treading new ground, but at least he's doing it HIS way. Sureshot may never gain the amazing following that "Loneliness" did, but it proves that he's still got that arcane charm that has made him the big name he is today.


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