Monday, 12 November 2012

Fresh Sounds I: Netsky Feat. Billie - We Can Only Live Today (Puppy)

If you've been a fan of  anything remotely Drum & Bass related in the past 5 years, the chances are you'll have heard of Netsky. Combining quality production techniques and a sense of groove and flow that marks his tracks above countless pretenders. This style has earned him a legion of die-hard fans willing to worship at anything with his stamp and an Amen Break beat. With the release of his second album, appropriately if slightly unimaginatively titled 2, it would have been so easy to rest on his laurels and produce a stream of drum & bassy hits.

Yet the latest single, We Can Only Live Today, in combining the instrumental 'Puppy' from the new album and a soulful vocal from Billie ventures into new territory with a surprisingly upbeat, and well developed house track that manages to push the envelope while maintaing the traditional Netsky sound.

Builiding on a bed of piano chords, subtle percussion and sultry female vocals the song appears to represent standard Netsky fare, drawing you in with tantalising synth riffs, and arpeggiated bleeps that swell gracefully and wash over you before the song builds into a heavy, traditional 4/4 beat that allows the vocals and popping riffs to ride above a thumping bassline, before suddenly breaking off and building gradually with alternations on the original riff, lower and more organic, but continuing with the rise and drop pattern and eventually washing out on a fluttering arpeggio.

It sounds like an appealling idea, and it does translate everything Netsky does best, groove, suave and class onto a softer, slower house track. Yet the radical departure in tempo somehow leaves something missing, and despite the addition of vocals that coo and caress the listener, the song feels a little devoid of the emotional tug on your heartstrings that is normally achieved even whilst you dance like a maniac. This is by no means a bad song, and has more depth than most full time house producers could hope to achieve, but for a producer of Netsky's standard, you expect something a little more energetic alongside the soul.

Buy the song none the less, it's different, it's quirky and fun, but when you do so, make sure you pick up the Camo & Krooked remix as well. That has all the soul, all the punch but with the upping of tempo, just seems to connect better.

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