The nu-house genre finally has its first WTF track. The kind of track you hear and think ‘WTF is that,’ in a good way. Producer The White N3rd is gaining acclaim and popularity for his strong productions (Loick Essien “How We Roll” and Daley ft Jessie J “Remember Me”) and remixes (his mix of M.O. “For a Minute” is an absolute must-listen). His first solo release “Skank” is simply hard to describe. Starting with an almost hauntingly-familiar ’80s monster pop piano line, it goes into a ’90s R&B piano house segment with a male singer singing “those” party starter lyrics, and then comes a modern electro buildup with a classic diva shouting “ecstasy,” before dropping down into a revocaled nu-House take on Mark Kinchen’s classic dub of Nightcrawlers “Push the Feeling On.” That is just the first 50 seconds. The song is primarily in the house flashback vibe, but there are so many changes (like an homage to classic XL Recordings drum and bass tracks) that it sounds completely unique compared to anything else out there. It’s as if 2 Bad Mice, Awesome 3/Kicks Like a Mule, and Kat Krazy (circa “See the Stars”) were all locked in a studio by the label and told to make a nu-house track for ADHD ragers. The best part is that even with all of the disparate elements, the track is completely coherent, cohesive, and will catch the attention of anyone hearing it in the club or on the radio.
Slick and sexy, that’s the best way to describe “Break the Hold.” Comparisons to Disclosure, Mike Mago, and Duke Dumont are obvious with the mellow ’90s house groove and somewhat garagey bassline, yet I am getting more of a MK – as in Mark Kinchen (not Mark Knight) by way of West Coast OM feel. The track is laid back, sexy, soulful, and groovy and at the same time energetic and club-ready. It’s one of those songs that proves you don’t need banging, aggressive electro beats to numb a dance floor into submission. Though if you do want banging electro beats, the Kid Massive remix serves them up nicely. That’s just one of the strong remixes across the genres – Cause & Affect (house), Taiki & Nulight (broken beat), and the expertly-constructed drum and bass rerun by Rollz.
Image Courtesy of Sony.