Fancy Cars – Heart of Stone ft. Foy

Being pushed by wide synth lines, and also being lured by soft and emotive vocals. It’s difficult to put the new track of Fancy Cars into any specific genre. So I won’t even try.

Haven’t heard such a great mixture of electro tunes and male vocals in a long time, folks. Packed in a rock solid mixing work, “Heart of Stone” offers a groovy setting where the vocal tracks are falling in place like missing puzzle pieces. The two skilled producers Alan Notkin and Brandon Paddock, better known as Fancy Cars, somehow found the missing ingredient to mix up danceable yet quite harsh synth lines with a slow and steady beat/percussion. The vocals are placed in a wide reverb setting sometimes which is a great trick to add depth and also feeling with it. The track keeps it’s groove throughout the whole time, because as soon as you’re used to the main theme, there’s always added something more, like a drop or those catchy vocal chops. Though these elements are for sure not a new thing in electro, what’s addictive about them is the blueprint by which all of those tracks are fitting in. I guess this was either accomplished by countless hours of work – or these guys woke up one morning, and BAM! there it was, the ready mix in their heads, right after they had breakfast.

Notkin and Paddock got themselves a vocalist named Foy, who did an awesome work to add some …soul to this track. Here’s a guy who loves what he is doing, and you just can hear that through the way he sings.
So, if you ask me, this trio did an outstanding track here. I found myself grooving to this track on repeat, and even the theme stuck to my head when I was driving home. That’s what I call mainstream material, guys.

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.

Enzym – Illusions

A straightforward, honest track. Focused on the important elements of the genre. No, this is not an illusion, although that’s the tracks’ name – this is reality, and it’s what you were looking for.

Driven by synth and beat, this new track by belgian producer Niels “Enzym” De Troy is a manifesto of the most important thing in music – honesty. Enzym doesn’t play tricks on you with this one. You get what you ordered, so to speak.
After a quite slow and somewhat mystical intro supported by minimalistic percussion, the track gives you a masterful merged bass/synth/drum combination, along with a occasional playing tubular bells-like melodic instrument. What stunned me probably the most was the tight fashion in which the single tracks have been mixed together. Everything just feels right when listening. Everything is right where it should be. I’m sure some of you will find that this track is a bit too minimalistic – not in my opinion. De Troy made things happen right where they should have happened, be it a break, layering of different tracks, that catchy reverb effect on the synth, you name it. The overall mix is done ground solid, although a little too crisp on the higher eq band for my ears.

There are over 50 (!) tracks available on his soundcloud account for you guys to explore, but not all are coming from the trip hop genre. Checking out some of his other work, I also found a lot of drum’n’bass tracks, and also some tracks with a great house influence. So De Troy seems to be not restricted to just one genre, but is out there producing with a sense of “just letting it go”. That, my friends, is very rare these days.

#notraffic – my house

The trio of the newcomer bigbeat formation called “#notraffic” released a new track through german label kms past sunday. After their last smashing track called “clear to go” it was very clear they would try to gain momentum with the new bigbeat/electro track which hits the listener in used fashion.

Quite unusual seems the usage of internet based samples this time. They used a female voice, agitated and angry about something, to introduce a somewhat heavy beat along a slightly distorted synth. The beat smacks well with several percussion elements driving the whole track along, until it breaks down offering a different variation of a melody that sounds almost like a heavy distorted guitar. Finally the song mixes together all of the components into the grand finale.

On a personal note, I really love the female voice samples. I like how this women is talking in rage, giving the track the needed head start. But, in my opinion the song is way too short for a genre like this. It could easily be twice as long without getting boring – if the proper adjustments would be made.
Overall, this is another solid track that should cement #notraffic’s status as a force to be reckoned with in the bigbeat scene. Definetly worth a listen. (Of course, also because it was produced by kms. 😉 )