You may know tech-house mastermind Eric Estornel by a variety of names, including Maetrik and Mariel Ito to name a few. Now under the moniker Maceo Plex, the prolific DJ/producer has released one of his most emotional and meaningful tracks to date with “When the Lights Are Out.”
Clocking in at just under 7-and-a-half minutes, the track’s creation was deeply influenced by the illness and life struggle of one of Estornel’s closest friends. As he was first idealizing the song, Estornel details how “a dear friend of mine phoned to say he had bad news from the hospital.” He continues, “As we chatted through his news, and as a way to try and share my sympathies, I said ‘I’m gonna try and make a beautiful song to play at the show that hopefully helps him feel better.'”
The tech-house song carries a haunting beauty and grace, and seems to breathe blankets of epic and cinematic synths. A disco vocal sample is realized here to great effect, bringing another layer of emotion into the song. Knowing how close this song is for Maceo Plex himself only adds to the experience, and indeed encompasses everything many of us love about dance music; it’s a song that has ability to make us dance and cry at the same time.
“When the Lights Are Out” was released as part of a three-song single package, containing the original mix as well as two new edits, a garage edit and what Maceo Plex calls his Late-Night Mix, all of which are equally brilliant. Stream all variations of this new masterpiece below: