Franz Kirmann is a somewhat profilific producer but there's a good chance you haven't heard of him... At least not yet. That's in part due to the fact that he has worked under a number of aliases and the banner of many projects, but this new one as Hotel International also appears to be his most populist release yet.
Having previously used the Hotel International name to remix Eskimo Twins and Simple Minds' 'This Fear of Gods' it sounds like the inspiration of the latter has rubbed off on Kirmann just a little bit. 'L'Année Du Dragon' is a dusty and moody Ballearic track that riffs off of the sound of 80s new wave. The core melody is actually pretty much directly lifted from Don Henley's 'The Boys Of Summer', something Kirmann readily fesses up to, saying "I was jamming with a synth and started playing that line that basically sounds like a rip off of Don Henley's Boys Of Summer… In the end I decided to leave it on the track as it gives a nostalgic feel."
The track is aiming for something that's pop and yet cinematic and 'L'Année Du Dragon' achieves just that. If anything Kirmann's a little overly dour and dismissive of his own creation, labelling it cheesy despite enjoying its familiarity... But if there is a certain whiff of fromage it's really just down to the inspiration he has drawn on. This doesn't actually sound that far away from the sort of thing the critically adored Italians Do It Better label would release, and it would fit right in within Nicolas Winding Refn's ultra-violent Drive.
Two remixes feature. First up is Canada's Jokers Of The Scene, who draw the original out to epic proportions. The first few minutes lack any proper drums, providing a level of tension that ultimately threatens to boil over once the track kicks in proper with a solid four-four and a bubbling acid-line... The mix moves through three main acts and each of them almost deserves their own mix, it's 11-minutes long but justifies its own duration. The second mix comes courtesy of France's Morgan Hammer and she jetisons the main riff of the original to create a doped-up twisted take, complete with heavy reverb-drenched drums and fizzy bass melodies that give the track a much darker feel.
L'Année Du Dragon is out on Monday through Days Of Being Wild. You can pre-order on MP3 from Amazon.co.uk [affiliate link] or listen and purchase through Bandcamp below: