THE MONSTERCAT SERIES BONUS #15
I have been extremely excited to do a review on San Holo's highly anticipated debut EP, Victory, ever since I heard the first sneak peak of it over a month ago. Now that it has finally been released, I can finally wait no longer in writing this review. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the review.
1. Victory (4:01) - Like with every Monstercat EP that I have listened to so far, it starts off with a cool and calm opening. However, a "thunderclap" from the bass kicks in just to remind me that this is not going to be as calm as I think it will be. I never expect when an artist is going to throw something into his or her work that will make me, the listener, forget what I'm listening to. Fortunately, I caught on quickly and realized I'm listening to future bass (A chilled out version of trap that is more melodic than trap).
Once the synths kick in around 30 seconds in, they give me a euphoric feel that I'm travelling to somewhere else, which is saying something when compared to the majority of future bass that I have listened to. About halfway through the song, the vocal sample of "Swirl" (A staple of San Holo's music) introduces a nice melody that is dreamlike when you first listen to it, and then the bass kicks back in, but it prevails longer than it has been throughout the entire song. Great touch. After this segment of the song, the rest of the songs sounds exactly like what we have heard before: Nothing new, but nothing bad.
2. Hold Fast (feat. Tessa Douwstra) (3:33) - For the second track, San Holo starts off innocently enough with a soft sound before almost immediately jumping into a bass-heavy melody accompanied by soothing vocals from Dutch singer Tessa Douwstra. After her vocals stop, a crescendo, if you want to call it that, takes place before the drop. The drop in this song sounds like it's at a faster BPM when compared to the previous track, but that doesn't mean it's not an energizer.
After the drop, the song's melody changes to one that is similar to "Victory"'s. I'm not saying that in a way that makes me sound like I hate it, but it shows a little bit of laziness on the side of San Holo's production capabilities. Said laziness is further evidenced by the fact that the second half of this song is almost a clear copy/paste of what we heard in the first half, save for a few minor differences in the melody, like the music fading out and back in and some added effects that weren't there in the first half. All in all, however, it is still a good track to listen to.
3. Shrooms (4:26) - If I see any "mushroom" and/or drug references in the comment section below because of this song, I will laugh my ass off. Anyways, this song wastes no time into getting down to business because its bassline kicks in as soon as the song begins. I do love the overall sound of the song when comparing it to the previous two. To me, it sounds happier and more uplifting than the rest of the EP.
The soft vocals are a nice touch and serve as a nice intro to the drop of this song, which is drastically different from what we've heard so far. I'm not lying when I say this, but the first time I heard this drop, I almost had a heart attack because it was so unexpected. After the drop, I love hearing the smooth transition back into the main melody along with the breakdown during the bridge.
The second drop heard at over 3 minutes in is the same drop as before, but nothing to deviate it from everything else or completely ruin it. The last thing I heard was the vocal sample that introduced the first drop is also the introduction to the song's outro, which I love to hear in this kind of music. For that, good job, San Holo.
They say that crowns are reserved for kings, but I guess that would be appropriate for San Holo's case and not Knife Party's. Anyways, this EP gives a terrific first impression for San Holo to the Monstercat family after he has had a number of independent releases before his release on MC. Although I have heard little of his work before this EP, I will definitely look more into his work and hopefully do a follow-up to this review in the form of a top list or something.