Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Fresh Sounds IV: Vato Gonzalez - Not A Saint (Radio Edit) Feat. Donae'O & Lethal Bizzle

With the best fireworks display to ever grace the London Eye bringing 2012 to a close and a soundtrack of fantastic party heavy music to accompany it, I think it's only fair that the first 'Fresh Sounds' of 2013 should come in the form of a brand new party tune, from the most famous DJ I've ever had a drink with! Back at the end of 2011, in Granada in Spain me and a couple of friends got chatting to some guy in a bar who told us he was Vato Gonzalez and we had a couple of beers together. At the time the name meant very little to us and it was only on hearing Badman Riddim during 2012 that I realised quite who I'd been dirnking with!

Releasing 5 inaugural 'Dirty House' mixtapes from 2007 to 2009 before breaking into the mainstream in a blur of brassy with the horn laced, beat wielding, Foreign Beggar featuring Badman Riddim, before going on to remix a selection of exciting artists including major dance music players Major Lazer, Zinc, Skepta & The 2 Bears. Thanks to a bustling Soundcloud and releases on smaller labels, Gonzalez has maintained his underground, progressive image to keep the Dutch House purists happy, but has enough creative nouse to create a proper Electrohouse smash. So it is with no small degree of anticipation that I bought my copy of Not A Saint, Gonzalez's reworking of a Lethal Bizzle track that was released earlier this week, cranked up the volume and waited for the madness!

After the standard kick drum and bassline introduction, a hard hitting melody on a classic square lead reminiscent of arcade games, paired with an infectious vocal hook from Donae'O leads into Lethal Bizzle spitting lyrics across the track and the drums build. Up until now, the track is merely a well engineered but fairly generic club build up, but on the phrase 'No Retreat, No Surrender,' all hell breaks loose! 

With fat basslines  beats that sound rubbery and synthetic as they hit (in a good way) and a mutated, snarling synth riff the song explodes, with high notes that reference classic Dutch house and a sense of groove that drives the song forward with relentless energy. As things drop off, the kick drum helps lead into the second build, with a snappy snare that heralds a little more Bizzle, combined with a transfer of the riff to a Marimba like sound that cools things off just for an instant before the track drops into another fantastic dance segment. 

What makes this song so delightful is the combination of very refined production and an absolutely enormous low end thanks to the kick and basslines, with melodies that draw on the late 2000's Dutch House scene and re-imagine them, bringing them bang up to date. The lyrics from the original song are a sideshow, merely another instrument that Gonzalez utilises to lead into the drops, the real focus of the song and rightly so, cause if they don't get a dancefloor moving, nothing will!

Have a listen here and expect to hear the bassline coming at you from a big club subwoofer very soon!

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