Review Summary: An above-average electro house release - take it or leave it.
For all the hate electro house gets from more "cultured" electronic music fans, there's still something to be said for it. After all, it doesn't generally try (or even pretend to try) to be deep, subtle or profound, and while that displeases a lot of people it's not in and of itself a bad thing. It's made for the dancefloor, and though that might not be for everybody, the style has its own time and place. The straight four-on-the-floor beat, the kick or snare doubling over and over again until the drop, the Massive wobbles, the hint of melody before said wobbles kick in, and the jump-up-and-down fist-pump main section are all designed with the average EDM listener in mind, and it's unfair to say it's bad simply because it's made for a more general market than critically acclaimed styles like garage or IDM are. Given that, though, a lot of electro house releases fade into anonymity immediately because many songs in the genre sound too damn similar for their own good. Really, it turns into a "name game," with big-name artists releasing whatever the hell they want and, so long as they meet the minimum electro house requirements, achieving success after success. Even a dismal release can succeed if the artist is well-known enough (see Zedd's Clarity), making it difficult for an unknown artist to break through the walls between them and being recognizable. So, in short, the biggest songs, EPs, remixes, and (rarely) albums are usually released from a few artists on a handful of labels, which isn't quite the healthiest possible scenario for electro house.
That being said, Cazzette's Eject Pt. 1 is a quintessential electro house release in a world full of quintessential electro house releases. On the surface, at least, it seems like it has nothing to distance itself from the rest of the crowd. Where it does succeed, though, is with how unusually well the songs are executed. The majority of the songs on the EP are better than their genre's counterparts, a fact that will no doubt go unnoticed by the large majority of listeners who give the EP one spin, maybe listen to lead single "Beam Me Up" a few more times, and then trash it by the end of the week to make room for the next Monday's worth of releases. And, to be honest, that standard listening routine is a bit unfair for this release, which is more in-depth, better produced, and most of all more interesting than similar tunes. For example, "Beam Me Up" is as close to the zenith of pop-electro as anyone save for the most inventive producers around will reach. Its simple structure, instead of almost insulting the listener's attention to detail like most songs of its ilk, remains interesting and almost invigorating through the song's entire 6-minute run time, and it's designed almost mechanically for the average dancefloor while still being a quality song. The electro on the rest of the EP is also surprisingly well-made, with songs like "Run For Cover" and "The Rat" distancing themselves just enough from the likes of Afrojack and Nicky Romero with tempo changes and breakbeat-ish sections to prove that, hey, Cazzette might actually have come out with something almost original here.
In the end, this EP probably won't change your opinion on electro house. It's not the Godspeed You! Black Emperor, the Dream Theater, or the Tupac of its genre - it's really not a revolutionary release, and for some that will be a bad thing. For others, though, this will be exactly what its genre needed - it's fresher than a lot of the expired electro today, and that may well be all it needs to succeed. What is for sure, though, is that anyone going to a house concert in the near future will most likely be hearing one or two of these songs during a night of DJing - this album succeeds as far as the general standards of electro house go. However, Eject Pt. 1 goes just enough above those standards to make itself stand out, and that bit of extra effort on Cazzette's part should be lauded.
Originally posted at www.muzikdizcovery.com, album is streaming exclusively on Spotify. Aren't they just special.
If you can't tell, I'm slightly tired and irritable, which came off a bit in the review. If electro house is your thing the EP is worth a listen, otherwise you can just ignore it (unless you have no idea what electro house is, in which case this EP isn't a terrible introduction).
Because I'm not one of those people - I do in fact like electro house on the whole. Basically, though, as far as I can tell its because it's "abrasive", "obnoxious", etc. Instead of being like Burial (where the beauty is in its subtlety) it's made specifically for dancing and party atmospheres, and a lot of people don't like how up-front and "unsubtle" it is. Also because a lot of it does sound the same, like I say.
Sweet review and analysis of electro-house, man. I'm just now starting to learn all these things about the genre, so it's nice to be able to read your review and say I understand you. ^_^
Your writing's great here. It's so hard for me to find anything worth noting that could help you out. I'll just find some minor things for you.
"while that displeases a lot of people it's not in and of itself a bad thing."
Try to stay away from "in and of itself." If you absolutely have to use this idea, go with "in itself". Still, though, that's only sometimes effective...
"The straight four-on-the-floor beat, the kick or snare doubling over and over again until the drop, the Massive wobbles, the hint of melody before said wobbles kick in, and the jump-up-and-down fist-pump main section are all designed with the average EDM listener in mind, and it's unfair to say it's bad simply because it's made for a more general market than critically acclaimed styles like garage or IDM are."
This works, but it may work better if you split up the descriptors from the last phrase somehow.
"However, Eject Pt. 1 goes just enough above those standards to make itself stand out"
The "however" here feels misplaced. Maybe you could use a more fitting word, or take it out.
I gotta say, man, I'm jealous. Your writing is so conversational and fluid it makes me jealous. I get in *reviewing mode* where I type things I would never say in person, and it just fucks me over. Keep up the great work.
So yeah, I saw an ad for these guys on Spotify, and it went something like "The
Cassette is dead...until now" and I got all excited thinking that Spotify somehow
invented a way to do like a digital casette tape transfer system or some shit, so I
clicked on the ad out of curiosity and I was VERY disappointed to find it was just
some guys with Cassette tapes on their heads. Anyway, nice review man, congrats
on the feature. Have a pos.
I'm probably one of the guys you're referring to when it comes to people who "hate" electro house. But that's not quite it - I just really dislike all the formulaic stuff. Basically your description:
"The straight four-on-the-floor beat, the kick or snare doubling over and over again until the drop, the Massive wobbles, the hint of melody before said wobbles kick in, and the jump-up-and-down fist-pump main section"
I think almost everything designed with this exact formula - and granted, that's about 95% of electro house these days, which is a big part of the problem - is just so boring to listen to after you've heard it done a few times. That "kick or snare doubling over and over again until the drop" is done in almost every track now and every time I hear it I immediately think less of whatever song I'm listening to because there's no creativity involved.
And so when you say "it's unfair to say it's bad simply because it's made for a more general market than critically acclaimed styles like garage or IDM are", that's true on its own, but unfortunately I think most producers who try to reach that general market dumb their sound down quite a lot and follow that same rinsed formula again and again. This little EP may be fresher than a lot of electro, but if that's true it's only because almost every producer is content to keep putting out the same stuff over and over.
The genre doesn't have to be like that - see: Boys Noize's Oi Oi Oi, Sebastian's Total, that Huoratron album that dropped this year. Unfortunately it's damn rare to see releases like that.
Your review was well-written though, and I'm not saying you or anyone else is wrong for liking this or anything else like it. I just wanted to make it clear that the reason I dislike this isn't just because it's electro house, but because it's very formulaic electro house, at least in my opinion.
Gyromania Contributing Reviewer November 19th 2012
will: love the tone of this review, and you addressed some excellent points in your opening paragraph.
Thanks for all the positive feedback guys, really makes me feel good whe people spend so long on a comment. Omaha, thanks a ton for the feedback, noted for my next time.
And TMobotron, I'm not so much referring to people like you who can really articulate what they don't like about music, but rather guys all over the Internet on forums and blogs who dislike this stuff with a burning passion simply because it is in fact electro house. I'm fine with people like you who have eloquent reasons as to why they dislike the genre (and you'll be happy to hear that this one isn't quite as formulaic as a bunch of other releases), I just take issue with people who say things like "Oh, it's wobbly, therefore it's bad." It's the hating of the genre simply because it is that genre that I get annoyed with - you're definitely not one of those people.