One of the the things that has fascinated me so much about art, fashion and music is the '20 Year Cycle', as I will call it. Every 20 years, some trend or another from 20 years prior cycles back into the vernacular. In the 90s, the fun, hip sound of the 70's permeated themselves into the music of the times, and a result, we got disco house. But the new millennium came and with it came change. Music started to reflect the poppy, synthy trends of the popular music of the 80s. This was true for the Top 40 as well as the underground, which saw the birth of Justice, Kavinsky, and countless other acts that drew upon the sound of the 1980s. Thus, we've had a decade of rather dark songs (Compare MSBWY to Music Is The Danger and you'll see what I mean).
This pattern was destined to continue, as it has for the past century or so, with the 2010s predictably channeling a sound of the 90's. I first noticed the switch when I hear Major Lazer's 'Pon De Floor' which instantly reminded me of old 90s hits like Who Let The Dogs out. Now Surkin has released his new EP Silver Island which clearly proves my point.
The EP starts with Easy Action, which instantly drops you into a late 80's/early 90's groove with some piano chords reminiscent of Westbam's The Roof Is On Fire, and chopped vocals of the type so very common in 90s dance music (C&C Music Factory anyone?). It holds true all the way through, and serves up a really pleasant, upbeat track that any house enthusiast will love.
Surkin - Easy Action
The title track, Silver Island greets us with some of those cheezy musical sound effects that you'll find on any given home model keyboard in the 90s, in this case, seagulls. Then it transforms into an optimistic-sounding background with some Danger-esque lofi bass and synths. Towards the end, we get some of that great 90s midi saxophone. Overall, this track just rocks.
Surkin - Silver Island
Speaking of rocking, Fan Out certain does that, and reminds us of that the entire way through. Surkin's signature cut-up sound is accompanied by that great 808 cowbell sound common in so many pop and hip hop recordings from the great old days before gansta rap became Top 40 material. This song has already made quite a splash since it was played on Radio 1, ripped and blogged all within the same five minutes, and I say it was well worth the wait for the full EP. The EP could have no more fitting of an end.
Surkin - Fan Out
Overall, I was very impressed by this EP. I've got most of Surkin's stuff, but for the most part, it tends to disappoint me. When I first checked him out, it was due to many raving fans on forums claiming he was the best thing since sliced bread. When I heard tracks like Radio Fireworks that were nothing but ear-bleeding chaos with no rhyme or reason, I really thought I was gonna hate him. I gave him another chance though, and the Next Of Kin EP brought him up a few rungs on the ladder (but only a few). The title track was amazing and felt very inspirational, but Kid Gloves and White Knight were more of that absolute chaos that I just couldn't tolerate. Now Silver Island EP proves that waiting can pay off, as the Surkin name-brand chaos now has rhyme, reason, and is actually musical and groovy.
My one beef is that he doesn't do too much playing with the flow of the tracks as he does in his older work. This is a very straightforward intro-cut to chords-add chops-loop-breakdown-end sort of thing, whereas with track like Next Of Kin, something new is happening every 4 bars.
As Surkin posted on Facebook, "Redeem your soul or pretend you don't already have it". I highly recommend purchasing this EP.
"Redeem your soul or pretend you don't already have it: you can now buy my new ep 'SILVER ISLAND' on Beatport."
3.9/5. Definitely not the best release I've ever heard, but it certainly proves that the next decade is going to be full of pleasant surprises!