In the weeks leading to Quadron’s Avalanche album release, I was certainly excited about it. However, I got somewhat distracted (probably a shiny light or ball of string) and have only got around to giving it a proper listen in the last few weeks. What it proved was that I’m self-sabotaging: it’s a superb LP that will improve anyone’s day/week/life/girlfriend.
Amongst its highlights was the first single, Hey Love, which has lost none of its addictiveness in the intervening months since its release, and here serial remixer Ryan Hemsworth gets his hands on it for a slightly darker twist. The funk is mostly pulled away from the body of this track, leaving a carcass of only Coco’s vocals, with Ryan substituting in a production built up of atmospheric synths, isolated clicks, and intermittent blasts of samples and effects for a more downbeat, but still wholly laidback effort. It’s a unique take on the track, and plays more on the bittersweet lyricism than the positive nature of the actual vocal delivery and original production, working to make this feel like an entirely new track rather than a rework- that’s definitely a compliment, as for better or worse, at least it shows a modicum of creativity and effort. Worth a go, and might appeal to those who found the original a little too upbeat.
I remember being in touch with Ryan many moons ago, back when he was an upcoming producer working with rappers in the same bracket (specifically, Shady Blaze at the time), and it was clear he had talent. At some point between now and then, he seems to have really developed a stellar reputation as a go-to producer, and has seemingly been commissioned for an official remix of Lana’s rather likeable single.
Often, completely replacing (or near enough) an original’s production for a remix is risky business, and probably fails more than it succeeds. Not here. Ryan’s swapped in a luscious dub-influenced backdrop, throwing together deep, booming bass with synths of both a quick, dynamic nature and a slower, depth-building style that combine to flesh this beat out superbly. The former in particular seem to fizz through the track, adding energy and unpredictability, whilst the final third demonstrates a worthwhile payoff with a few extra elements thrown into the mix. Good rework from a gifted beatsmith.
Every so often, I stumble upon a gem from an upcoming artist that’s just been sitting around in my inbox (click here for the last one), and this would firmly fall under that category.
Produced by Ryan Hemsworth (who helms the entire Distorted project this is taken from), he serves up an atmospheric, intense production that blends guitars, thudding percussion and choir-style vocals into a pulsating end product. Shady laces the engaging production with some equally enjoyable raps, showcasing some real skill on the mic with tongue-twisting deliveries, solid lyricism and a confidence belying his relatively underground status. Very well-rounded effort, and certainly one all hip-hop fans can appreciate. Grab this track below, and the entire project at the above link.
Shady Blaze-No Fear