It seems redundant to say anything by Halogenix is “hotly anticipated” by this point. Isn’t that a given by now? That hasn’t stopped Critical from its usual teasing strategy, however, as all of the tracks but one have been previewed one way or another. “Reminisce” is last piece to the Dragonforce puzzle and Bassrush is lucky enough to debut it.
For this EP’s general vibe, Halogenix has gone deep and melodic but still intense and heavy. Style-wise, Dragonforce runs the gamut of neuro-edged darkstep like the EP’s title track to melodic and R&B-tinged. Said title track has a real old school darkstep beat and a mellow sound design spread. When we say “neuro-edged,” that’s literally what we mean. The techier elements of this track just skirt the edges of the beat and bassline, like a little line of silver skirting around the outside of a piece of dipped black tourmaline. It’s a vibe that’s both smoothed out and fierce and that few other than Halogenix can achieve.
By contrast, the other two tracks on Dragonforce that have already been premiered, “Tekina” and Independent” are more melodic and have hip hop and R&B melodies running through them. For fans looking for that Ivy Lab throwback funk couched in a modern Halogenix drum & bass tune, these are your tracks. Excellent whip-kicks and a smooth R&B vocal characterize “Independent” while “Tekina” has a funky bass synth and slightly deeper cut up vox samples.
As the last track on the EP, “Reminisce” has elements of all of the other three tracks. A smooth vocal overlay, deep sub synth, snappy kicks and a little slice of techy neuro vibes. The added layer here that makes “Reminisce” a highlight among highlights is the unexpected, high-pitched synth that sort of spirals through and floats above all the other elements of the track. It has a quite visceral pitch that makes it feel both modern and timeless, with an almost undetectable classical Eastern flare. It’s a goosebump track to be sure, and that ancient feel may be why Halogenix decided to call it “Reminisce.”
With all the complexity that goes into the tracks on Dragonforce, the great thing about any Halogenix release is that it’s pretty much guaranteed to slap on the dancefloor. Since the “dancefloor” for most of us is still in our living rooms, however, it’s also nice to take time to slow down and listen to just how wel-composed the tracks of Dragonforce are and, hopefully, to hear them at a festival or show in the not-too-distant future.
Dragonforce drops today on Critical Music. Click here to download or stream.