Haquin – Congested (ft. Santino & Elouise)

Here’s something for those of you who won’t be satisfied with strict patterns or linear structures within a song. Constantly changing, the new track of Nicolas Haquin gives you a hint what creativity is about.

When I listened to this track the first time, I realized right away that the Leeds based musician is searching. He’s searching for that unique sound, for soundscapes never heard before, for the unusual and the unexpected within sound and rhythm. There’s not a second of music in “Congested” where you get bored by a linear track pattern. As soon as you figured out a certain track or effect, melody or percussion, Haquin changes the rules again. Normally this would disturb the flow and even make the track so restless you would instantly change to the next track, but in this case those changes are made very sensitive in order NOT to destroy the flow. Turns out this really works out. I was attracted to that reversed sample at the intro which created that “where does he want to go with THAT?” feeling. Haquin then builds an wide reverbed atmosphere around that sample, even adding some oriental tunes and sort of white noise and percussion to it. What tops all that are the vocals of rapper Santino Luca Browne and the singing of Elouise McCracken. Those two are giving the track what I like to call the “Café del Mar feeling”. Sort of floating on a wave, but with a destination. Smooth and down to earth, but constantly in motion.
Speaking of the mix, I think the instrumental part sometimes is too much parted from the vocals, there seem to be like small “gaps” in the final mix where the music feels detached from the vocals. Although this might be a wanted effect, I think an additional sub bass or something would have glued those tracks back together. Besides that, this track sounds great over headphones. Of course, it also would fit in almost any setting you like, be it a bar or late night driving through empty streets.

I like that Haquin hasn’t decided where to go yet. Music needs to have those “free agents”. Maybe this constant evolving is his essence of being a musician, maybe one day he’ll just decide to go for a specific genre, who knows. Right now you have a variety of sounds, tracks and genres to choose from on  his soundcloud account.

Jamie Bostron – Hanging on the wall

If you’re mixing reggae tunes with drum’n’bass, you gotta be careful. Very careful, or you’ll destroy the track. It’s like mixing some sort of a wicked groove potion. Today I found one of the druids capable of producing a mighty groove potion.

Glasgow based producer and DJ Jamie Bostron did a great job with “hanging on the wall”. While balancing the laid back reggae/jungle grooves with the drum’n’bass parts easily, he leaves it up to the listener to either just nod the head or go crazy while listening. I really like how the transitions are done in this track. (By the way, you know the “GTA” video game series? They should really get this track in one of the radio stations there, hehe. The game also has those chilled scenes, mixed with hectic car chases all of a sudden. The song would be a perfect upgrade for the game. 🙂 )
Technically speaking, I noticed no glitches or noteable errors throughout the track. Maybe the additional sound effects are mixed a bit shallow, but if they weren’t they probably would draw attention from the main theme. You won’t find overloaded bridges or anything.
I’m not really an expert with drum’n’bass, but since the kms blog is about how music makes you feel, not how it’s done – I am recommending this track because it made me feel good.

You also should check out Jamie’s other work on his soundcloud account (or all of the other web resources). Staying true to his genre, he’s got several serious tracks out there. It shows that he knows what he’s doing and he’s comfortable with exact the genre he’s working in. You’ll also find several remixes worth checking out.