All of the mixes reviewed in this monthly series, as of late, have been on the deeper, more chilled side of EDM. As summer time quickly approaches, I think we need to get back to sets of straight up, high energy, tear out music! Below is one that satisfies all that criteria, while still managing to be a completely new sound for the DKGL MIXTAPE category.
FAYDZ & TWISTA
So many DJs boast that they have a “unique style”. It’s become a complete cliche. However, in the case of the UKs FAYDZ & TWISTA, you really do get it. I’ve never heard anyone else deliver an open format blend of BREAKS, OLDSCHOOL HARDCORE, FUTURE JUNGLE, DUBSTEP, HOUSE and DRUM N BASS, presented with scratching, special edits, and effects. They call this style “RAVE MASHUP”.
It was HHC pioneer, DJ HIXXY, who first spotted the similarities in the styles of these two accomplished DJs, and paired them up for a performance together, despite the fact that they had never met before. Now, 7 years after that inaugural meeting, Faydz & Twista have performed together at massive events, all over the globe, and their popularity only continues to rise. They have become global ambassadors of the NEO RAVE scene. Who better, then, to compile a collection of the best new Rave music, from all the various genres that they support???
BACK TO THE FUTURE
The PROMO VID really gives you all the necessary details about what you’ll find on this amazing compilation, particularly the part about it uniquely covering the full spectrum of BASS music. It does so by focusing on upfront tunes that liberally pay homage to the early days of Rave. The term, BACK T THE FUTURE, has never been used so aptly before. Those of you that know me well must be thinking, “it’s as if they compiled this collection just for you, Gobs”. I’ll tell you this, I can’t think of a comp that has gotten me more excited. This IS a Mixtape review, so let’s focus on one of the incredible mixes, put together by Faydz & Twista, using selections from the compilation.
The RAVE MIX begins by highlighting the more HARDCORE selections, from the comp, riding it’s way through chopped up breakbeats, euphoric piano lines, organ fanfares, and RAGGA MC samples, with no shortage of fat, dirty basslines, until about half way, where the energy rises, and morphs into straight DRUM N BASS from there on in. The rest of the mix is an absolute rinse out. One song leads to the next, with no lack of pleasant surprises, and every blend is executed with perfection. I’d expect no less from the combined efforts of these two rave veterans.
DOWNLOAD: Faydz & Twista – Back To The Future (Rave Mix) (RIGHT CLICK>SAVE AS)
HIGH POINTS: To put it simply, it’s the scratching! It used to be that this classic DJ skill really impressed people. Things have changed. We’ve all heard scratching many times before. There’s very little element of surprise, anymore, when a DJ busts out a showcasing of their itchy finger techniques. It’s been done! And now that the initial awe of scratching has worn off, most of us have concluded that there’s not much very musical about it. Most of the time, it is clashing with the music, and we’d rather do without it, thanks. With all that said, in this mix, it’s superb! It’s been a long while since I heard scratching, in an EDM set, that didn’t make me cringe. Faydz & Twista work their virtual turntables with the expertise of a well seasoned turntablist. That they are, I suppose. But they’ve even managed to go above and beyond the best of turntablism techniques, by presenting their skills in some fresh ways. While scratching is almost always done using a short vocal sample, or the first audio hit, at the beginning of a record, Faydz & Twista have thought outside the box, and busted out some original sounds, that appropriately and musically go with the underlying track. Listen as they work their magic on the Hoover chunk (@ 6:16), or the Riser (@19:04). Dropped at the ideal time, they’ve actually added to the energy of the track, using these uniquely selected scratch samples, and what they do with them must whip the crowd into a frenzy, when done live. Wow!
LOW POINTS: Funny. The same thing I’ve praised, above, is what I must jeer here. As I mentioned, there’s not much impressive or musical about scratching anymore, and with that considered, it must be executed at very carefully selected times. The tracks must be rhythmic, as scratching just completely clashes with anything melodic, and it shouldn’t be overdone. Once we come to expect it, boredom is sure to set in. And it does, by 31:30, where I feel like they start to overdue it a bit. The scratching no longer contains any new tricks, and it’s interfering with the vocals in the track. By 33:57, I found myself thinking, “alright. You can scratch. Quite well, yes. I hear that. Now let’s please get back to this wonderful music you’re intruding on”. I imagine the boys were starting to feel the same way, because we don’t hear any more for the rest of the mix. I just wish they had backed off a bit sooner. Perhaps, in hind sight, eh gents?
It’s interesting that Faydz & Twista decided to only make these mixes available with the purchase of the full album. I’d think that they would have served as an ideal promo tool for the comp, had they been given out as free downloads. Well, ol’ Gobs is here to set things right! I don’t have a TRACK LIST for you though. Couldn’t find one anywhere online, and I simply don’t have time to build one myself. Please do shoot an angry email to Faydz and Twista’s management, demanding that one by posted. firstname.lastname@example.org. Ha!
I couldn’t be more into the sounds on this comp right now, and I hope that after hearing this wonderful mix, your inner raver is delighted, and you’re just as excited about it as I am. I’m gonna be dropping a lot of tunes, from this comp, in my live sets, this year, and I’ll be posting all my favourites up on this blog. Waiting around for my posts, however, would be silly. Go grab a copy of BACK TO THE FUTURE for yourself.