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  • Filed under: Review
  • 09/14/2012

Pick

Tom Demac Critical Distance Pt. 2

In fairness, it sometimes feels like every episode of the Boiler Room leads to a mini-takeover of everyone's Twitter feed, usually with customary comments along the lines of "DJ So-and-so is killing it right now!" But every once in awhile, an artist on the Boiler Room will do something truly outstanding, prompting a sort of palpable Twitter mania in the process. Tom Demac is one such artist. Back in August, he headlined the Hypercolour label's Boiler Room takeover with a live set. The first 45 minutes were good enough to garner some serious praise, but just before things came to a close, Demac unfurled this absolutely monstrous bassline and the crowd erupted. Online, the Twittersphere was alight within seconds, with people everywhere asking, "What is this tune?" Demac could only let it roll for a minute or two before he had to wrap up the performance, but he had clearly gotten everyone's attention. As it turns out, that tune was "Critical Distance Pt. 2," the UK producer's next single on Hypercolour.

In retrospect, ending his Boiler Room set with the song was an incredibly savvy move, as Demac set the stage for a track that's sure to be rinsed to death in the months ahead. Underpinned by thick, slightly shuffling drums, "Critical Distance Pt. 2" offers more than just low-end heft; it's a dark and moody cut, one where ominous synths streak across the song's intro before giving way to an enticingly brawny bass wobble. There's also a vocal element, albeit one that's been been twisted to resemble a horrific sort of prehistoric bellow that offsets the bassline perfectly. In truth, there's no rocket science at work here. This is a big, banging house roller, and while it may be something that serious music fans can appreciate, it's just as (if not more) likely to work the average punter into a tizzy. Clubs need tracks like this, and Demac should be commended for making something so potent without dumbing down the discourse. When working with heavy bass sounds, that's no easy task.

Slightly more restrained is the remix by Hrdvsion on the flip. His take also centers around a wobbly bassline, but somehow, it's both more menacing and more reserved than the original, perhaps because the warbling notes have been filled out by lazily floating atmospheric synths and stretched over Hrdvsion's loose drum patterns. The track bears a passing resemblance to Fis-T's "Night Hunter," another cut which demonstrated that wobble isn't necessarily a bad thing. Make no mistake, in 2012 it's usually a bad thing, but that only serves to make a track like "Critical Distance Pt. 2" an incredibly enjoyable exception to the rule.

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