San City High E.P. 2013
Fresh off the press, the music label San City High’s newest E.P has set it’s phasers to kill. Showcasing five new releases on the EDM scene, the 28th of October is when it hits the shelves, and for less than a fiver on iTunes, there is little excuse to miss this.
Unashamedly upbeat, the E.P satisfies all the usual criteria for a great release. Aimed at those up to date on the popular dance scene, the two remixes, two V.I.P’s and one song from five different artists give a great variety to the listener.
Another great thing about the San City High E.P is that it is a whole package, having a unified theme so that each song complement the next, accentuating the different generic styles and sounds. There is not a moment of downtime, so be ready for just under twenty minutes of dance!
As the founder and owner of San City High, Kissy Sell Out has once again brought his own unique madcap charisma to a release, focusing this time on team spirit and integration across the label. Having had an influential show on BBC Radio One, and now an equally well respected one on Pioneer DJ Radio, Kissy is established, popular and sucessful on the scene. Having no difficulty in securing a selection of artists from a broad spectrum of popularity, the E.P keeps the listener stimulated by constantly creating and recreating new and exciting music. This comes across most prominently in Trumpdisco’s remix of Under Arrest and Brookson’s own remix of the artist DrDr.
Donna Curson’s mesmerising vocals shimmer through an enhanced, wobbling bassline that is the mark of Brookson in his remix of Brighton based band DrDr’s track titled “Take it Lying Down”. Turning a slow and sensual Future Bass song into a bumping Deep House remix is an unremarkable feat; but to do it really well is so rare as to be almost unheard of. A song about sexual satisfaction, Brookson has done DrDr justice in creating a banger capable of reproducing the originally intended effect, the added groove creating a flow to enhance the aural sensation, feeling like soft velvet through good speakers. The hotly tipped trio, DrDr are known for taking Bass music into interesting and unheard of terratories, and Brookson gives as good as he gets, twisting even more zest into an already highly creative blend.
Taking the use of a klaxon to new heights, Trumpdisco and Kissy Sell Out’s track “The Big Red One” does not attempt subtlety. Up tempo and unapologetic, there is a brazen quality here that gets the blood flowing and your fist pumping with ultra low bass and minimal, creative sampling. Having remixed such artists as Kanye West and Diplo, Trumpdisco’s flexibility is part of the artist’s talent, but one cannot help but feel that Kissy’s hyperactive style floods “The Big Red One”. Kissy’s presence is encapsulated in the energy contained within the first few seconds, and the bass related physicality attributed to Trumpdisco within twenty. This feels about right for each artist’s work, and though it fits right in with Kissy’s other productions, seems a little out of place from the artist who brought us “War Horn” and “Cut and Paste”.
Brookson shows us he is capable of invigorating a fresh House track with the feel of the old Garage scene through “Going V.I.P”. Looping in and out of various different styles, Brookson creates his own mood, though the only distinguishable word being that of the title “Going”. Taking a short trip around the artist, this newly signed member of the San City High crew is certainly capable of decent production, despite being virtually anonymous on the internet. Saying this, his previously mentioned remix is flooding playlists as of now, certainly he’s one to watch, and on my ‘up and coming’ radar. Perhaps Brookson’s apparently unheralded rise into the ranks of popular music is a sign of where exactly the artist is “Going”.
About a third of the way into the track, the evidence of Trumpdisco’s hand in remixing Kissy Sell Out and The MIDI Mafia’s banger “Under Arrest” shows itself, with the track slowing, then pausing to ‘drop the bass’. The American MIDI Mafia are a duo, amusingly named Bruce Waynne and Dirty Swift, who have been featured on MTV on several occasions and have recently recalibrated to produce EDM. Their historic sound establishes itself in the Rap-esque vocal samples, whilst Kissy typicality brings the Electro-House flavour into the mix; when mashed and breathed back together by Trumpdisco, a unique sound emerges. The three artists contribute their respective talents in order to produce a composite that is easily seen to be a whole package. Being bold enough to tone right down into silence, the “Under Arrest” remix does all the right things at exactly the right time.
The last, but by no means least on the E.P is Kissy Sell Out’s V.I.P of his song “You’re Not The Once” – featuring Queen of Hearts. Moving through some really outstanding minimalist territory with this remix, Kissy tones it down to demonstrate an ability not to lose his head when working with a popular pretty girl and instead producing a gem. Not just a pretty face, Queen of Heart’s vacillating vocal range is a compliment to the track, adding an emotive element that only a really great singer can. Her vocal samples seem to flow almost as if they were recored straight on over the beat, and create greater depth and transparency to the electronic melody. An instant dancefloor classic, “You’re not the One” displays elements of Trap, House and Electro, though tends to move quickly though these different sounds in favour of an overarching theme of cohesiveness and really deep rooted emotion.
Whisking through the various genres on the EDM scene right now, this up to the minute account of the San City High moniker is one that does the job with flare. Showcasing new artists back to back with those already well established validates the new work as really on the pulse, each remix allowing talent to shine through, and each original mix a complement to the producer. As a whole, the E.P structures an upbeat yet varied blend of all things upbeat, music to dance to, it will get you throwing shapes just as soon as you set the playlist.