EP REVIEW: Jack Beats – Somebody To Love

jack beats somebody to love

Written for DIY

When you’re tossed overboard into a sea of mediocrity, it’s difficult to find anything to really grab on to. Amongst the flotsam and jetsam that pass you by are weak four-to-the-floor beats, structurally unsound ‘wobbly’ bass bits, and indistinct, breathy female vocals of which you’re unsure about the origins. Jack Beats’ most recent EP casts you into these choppy, murky waters, with nary a lifebelt to save you – and what makes it all the worse is you were travelling on a luxury cruiser before.

The last release by the production duo – Scottish DJs Plus One and Beni G, the latter best known as part of the Mixologists – was this year’s ‘Careless’ EP, a smartly-constructed set of modern dance tracks. There was little-to-no pandering to cliché, it was as thoughtful as it was tuneful, and the guest vocalists were given a chance to shine. What’s happened since then? Apparently, they looked back on all those trite genre-trope traps that befall electronic acts, and dived right into them with glee.

That includes, but is by no means limited to: weird, talkboxed vocals that sound a bit like farts; slowly building tempos that explode, damp squib-like, into a climax of squelchy synths and klaxons firing over and over, all of which can be found on the title track and ‘Get So Fresh’, which features an similarly out-of-character, charisma-free “We’re having a great night out guys!” rap from Chiddy Bang.

‘Just A Beat’ and ‘Knock You Down’, meanwhile, ascribe to the Duck Sauce of formula for the successful house track: minimalist, bass-heavy, tedious songs that go on for so long and seem mainly to be exercises in how many times you can repeat a pitched-down sample before you start to think it’s a Chris Morris sting designed to catch out DJs stupid enough to mistake it for an actual song and play it in their sets at Fabric. The most disappointing records are not just the plain awful, but the mediocre being made by people with potential; ‘Somebody To Love’ falls under that umbrella.

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