UK rising talent Ben Jones has been on our radar for a while since his “Say That You Luv Me” popped into our ears with all its energy and elegance. In fact, the Liverpool-based DJ, producer, and now also label owner got the attention of the Enzo Siragusa himself earlier last year, and he’s about to join the LOCUS squad too playing alongside some of the British finest acts in the near future. Founding his label BEFORE was just a matter of time, and Ben had a clear mind when making his new 4-tracker “Fizzy Water” EP. Little could go wrong with his skills, and with trusting two of such names for the remix duties, as he brings to the game fellow UK top-producers Nolga and Bobby O’Donnell.
Kickin’ off with “Fizzy Water”, the track is a smooth groover, capable of keeping attention bouncing back and forth the number of details and the structure. Variations are added wisely, and Ben’s sound design is perpetrated with taste. The ever-evolving glitchy makes a huge part in keeping the groove in motion, while drums sharply hit, tight on the beat. The pace is rolling, but the bassline moves oscillating round and round the same short hypnotic pattern. Pads and stabs are far away, creating a sort of a dusty cloud of harmonic elements floating on top of the groove. A subtle acid line completes the arrangement, leaving its vividly colored trace throughout the entire piece.
The first remix is entrusted to One Records and Aesthetic’s regular Nolga, here with his version of “Fizzy Water”, as he opts for a deeper, dubber interpretation. We don’t often see the UK producer dealing with such an intense atmospheric mood, but the result is just on point. His remix turns out to be a smooth and fat tune, as he keeps some of the original melodic parts and broadens the tight drums of the original, making his remix relentlessly move from start to finish. Distant vocal shots and sporadic piano chords appear in an endless rotation, populating the scene with grace. Arp synths propel the thin drums, pushing from the bottom. As the open hat kicks in, we’re taking over straight to space.
On the flip, “Grey Area” has nothing to do about indecision. Since the very beginning, we’re already right in the middle of a groovy, sticky dense mud of kick and bass. Drums cut it as if it was butter. A wah-wah stab lays in the background, sluggish, waiting for the best time to say something, whilst the bass has a hollow feeling, very liquidly flowing in and out. Drums are made of short snares, sharp FX, and glitches that rattle on the beat, creating a thick mass. Clap perfectly splashes on the surface with its reverb. A small crowd of notes and arp shots keep on dancing glued together with the low-end, shaking heavily on the sides. What a funky feeling, uncle Ben!
B2 comes from the hands of Leeds master Bobby O’Donnell (E-Numbers, The Molecule) with a nasty and slimy 2-step version of “Grey Area”. His dirty signature made of overdriven drums immediately appears and approaches the listener. The filthy bulbous bass is heavy and rugged, rolling and scratching into the kick drum. A high-pitched tone starts calling from the side, and a distorted ringing responds. Some acid synths are stretched and open, creating a kind of industrial mood. As the track breaks, we couldn’t ask for a better solution, with a tiny pad start rising from the marshy zone he created, delivering a mysterious atmosphere. The high-pitched sound has no intention to leave the room, as is the obsessive ringing again resolving to the heavy drop. We all know that Bobby’s keen on this old-school, the 90s and rave flavor, and this one is truly no exception.
Words by Francesco Quieti