Opening our ears with his brand new “Cutting Edge” EP, Arkaik’s blend of deep, intricate, and minimal vibes with heavy rolling basslines has us keen to hear more from this relatively young producer. Released on Diffrent Music, Arkaik delivers a strong four track EP that shows off his versatility and ability to produce a unique take on the ever popular half-time, minimal, and heavy rolling sound from the likes of Dub Phizix, Jubei, Enei, and more. Check out below where we break down each track of the “Cutting Edge” EP.
The first track of the EP opens with weird echoing pads that give you a sense something big and scary is about to unfold. With a moment of silence before the drop, vocalist MCXL roars “Game Changer” followed by a heavy and rolling drop, hard drums, and MCXL’s sharp raps that propel you into their dark abyss. Aiming high with this one, both Arkaik and MCXL play off each other perfectly in a way that is comparable to Dub Phizix and Strategy. Going full time on the second drop to amp things even higher, “Game Changer” sets a nice tone for the rest of the EP and successfully blends deep and dark with heavy and minimal to explode dance floors and minds alike.
The title track of the EP is unfortunately the weakest of them all. “Cutting Edge” is a very short tune that builds with a repeating vocal chop and machine samples that build a weird and airy atmosphere before abruptly cutting into a “Cutting Edge” sample. As a pounding bassline builds underneath, “Cutting Edge” drops into a weighty roller with the previous vocal chop returning and quick, intricate drum work providing character to keep things interesting. Unfortunately just as “Cutting Edge” builds into a nice ball of energy, the song ends and doesn’t leave you with much reason to have a repeat listen.
Track three of the EP is our favourite. As deep piano keys and sharp airy synths build a goose bump inducing atmosphere, a subtle bell ring kicks in crisp and snappy drums with echoing vocals that pull you into Arkaik’s world. “Lost” drops into a beauty of a roller with subtle switch-ups and hard, sharp drums that hit like freezing rain on a windy day. As the mind starts to wander, soft vocals echo throughout reminding you of how you “gave your love” and how you’re “lost in this world” leaving you to reflect as the song continues to roll.
The last track of the EP is a fusion of all styles showing off Arkaik’s ability to combine deep, churning rollers with half-time drums that create a groove you can’t help but move to. This one is minimal yet packed full of energy and containing soft yet sharp basslines and hard, stabbing drums. “Serrated” feels like you’re being cut up by the bassline yet no pain is induced (besides the soreness of your neck from nodding your head along.) Arkaik’s managed to create a successful blend of sharp, hard, and soft that’s energetic and exciting enough for the dance, but soft and subtle enough for the late night listener.
Arkaik’s “Cutting Edge” EP successfully blends and weaves between dance floor inspired minimal bangers to thought provoking rollers. “Cutting Edge” is a fine start to the year and will be in rotation as we patiently await his next release.
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