I’ve been revisiting the Art Department album of late, and I’ve been checking it mainly for the track Vampire Nightclub feat Seth Troxler.
Even though the album is quite old, coming up a year now I think, it’s still an incredible slice of deep-techhouse, and sounds as fresh now as it did back then.
Granted the genre hasn’t moved on much, almost standing still as the onslaught of subpar Crosstown Rebels and Hot Creations copycats hit the shops, so revisiting something as seminal as this can be precarious as to how it will stand up now that everyone has the formula.
Thankfully it stands up very well.
The key to this, for me personally, is my rediscovering of the Vampire Nightclub track. At the time it got missed, I’d heard the 12” and didn’t like it. The 12 is very minimal and plods quite heavily, it’s produced well but it just lacked any real movement or melodic content, and it had never occurred to me the album version would be drastically different.
The Album version on the other hand is amazing. It is essentially a six minute intro with a four minute pay off, and what a mighty pay off it is. The track is a master class in building anticipation and the track starts simple and formulaic enough; a kick and a syncopated plucked instrument sounding synth line that remains present throughout the duration of the track. From there the track gradually introduces new elements in an occasional bass line and stabbed pads and a very obvious vocal sample from Raw Silks “do it to the music”. Kenny Glasgow’s occasional “Straight Gangsta” voice over counterpoints all this. Everything moves along nicely and then just as you think the tracks on its closing stages Glasgow’s soulful and layered vocals drift in and the track switches up bass line and synth tracks.
It all makes for a blissful building track and when it popped up on my player this morning I had to blog it. Yes it’s old (well that in itself is a subjective point) but it’s a really strong track from a premier act and I honestly believe it’s a great lesson for any aspiring producer in how to really capture a listeners attention with a good idea and simple execution. It’s also interesting that in this day and age of overkill in music, and genres where it’s about the ferocity of the sounds and technicality of the track a song that is sparse and minimal can carry so much melody and soul.
Check it out it’s a great listen,
* photo from Resident Advisor
Playlist Thursday 23 February 2012
Started my journey early today, and it was pleasant enough. Got a seat on the metro and switched off for the next 30 minutes.
It’s been a while since I changed the music on my player so I started my journey with a constant favourite, the wonderfully wacky world of Tornado Wallace and his effort for Melbourne deepcast, but if I’m honest after about 15 minutes of it I needed something with a bit more punch and I jumped to his fantastic “Rainbow Road” on Delusions of Grandeur, from there shuffle took me to Art Department and the above track. After that I listened to Andy Hart – Tell her you Know, and then Martin Dawson – Think About It feat Nicholas Ryan Gant (Maceo Plex Remix) followed by Lonley C & Baby Prince – I Remember Those Days (Tanner Ross Remix) to finish the trip.
Playlist: Tornado Wallace – Melbourne Deepcast Vol 50, Tornado Wallace – Rainbow Road, Art Department – Vampire Nightclub feat Seth Troxler, Andy Heart – Tell her you know, Martin Dawson – Think about it feat Nicholas Ryan Gant (Maceo Plex Remix), Lonley C & Baby Prince – I Remember Those Days (Tanner Ross Remix).