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DJ Fresh: 'Louder'

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DJ Fresh: 'Louder'

Postby Mike Senior » Thu Nov 17, 2011 6:55 pm

Even if you might initially be put off by the sonics, which feel, to me, overly harsh in the 5-10kHz region, even for this kind of style, ‘Louder’ is nonetheless well worth a spin for its unusual sped-up ending section, made all the more effective because of its contrast with the intentionally ponderous half-time drums preceding it. While the idea of revealing a musical ‘ace in the hole’ during the closing stages of a song is nothing new (consider Tinie Tempah’s breakthrough smash ‘Pass Out’, for example), it’s great to hear someone experimenting with tempo like this in a chart release. Despite Fatboy Slim casting down the gauntlet in style with ‘Rockafeller Skank’ more than a decade ago, tempo changes still feel like one of the great under-used weapons in commercial music production.

Another thing to listen out for, though, is how pitch-sweeps are being used as fills here. Every second snare hit in the chorus, for example, is accompanied by a background pitch fall-off (whether from a synth or an electric guitar ‘dive-bomb’ it’s tricky to tell) into the following downbeat kick-drum. More interesting, though, is the long pitch-rise underneath every iteration of “you can’t turn this energy inside”, first heard at 0:46-0:49. As the synth in question shifts progressively more out of tune, it builds up a harmonic tension that the following chord is then able to resolve, giving you a nice little shove into the next iteration of the hook. It’s almost insulting straightforward for something so effective, so go on — brush the dust off that pitch-bend wheel and give it a try for yourself!
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Re: DJ Fresh: 'Louder'

Postby Mike Senior » Thu Nov 17, 2011 7:02 pm

I reviewed this from the version on the NOW 79 compilation, but couldn't find any credits on-line anywhere. Coming back to this track again since writing the review a few weeks ago, I find myself no greater a fan of this mix tonality than I was before. Despite some reservations I expressed about the sonics of Nero's guilt a few months ago, I still think it does a better mainstream presentation of the dubstep sound. Not that it stopped 'Louder' riding to the top of the charts on the back of that Lucozade advert...

For more critiques of commercial productions, browse The Mix Review Index.
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Re: DJ Fresh: 'Louder'

Postby onesecondglance » Fri Nov 18, 2011 2:46 pm

interesting that you mention the accelerando - personally i don't think it works here at all. whereas in "Pass Out" it simply moves from a half-time feel to a double-time feel - borrowing a well used trick from rock and metal arrangements - here it never quite achieves twice the tempo of the first section - making it feel rather turgid to me.
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