Review Summary: Superb production and some wonderfully catchy tunes from Belgium's best in dnb.
I'm not the biggest fan of electronic music to be honest. I've always loved playing guitar, so my preferences towards music with guitars (in particular metal and hardcore) will always remain at the foremost of my music listening. However, there are a few (be it a rarity) electronic music artists that have impressed me over the years. Aside from the older dnb artists, such as Goldie and Roni Size, I'm not overly keen on dnb. However, Netsky certainly left an impression on me with his debut release. Rather than go into extravagant detail about particular tracks, I'll keep things clear and concise with a more generalised overview of the album.
One of the main things which makes this album so good is the amazing production quality. Pristine and polished, Netsky has managed to make every beat, every bassline, every melody hook sound soulful and organic. This is quite upbeat dnb for the most part but there are some more melancholy moments that stick out as more than solid tracks, such as the beautiful Mellow. Excellent use of piano features on a variety of tracks too, such as the wonderfully gentle Porcelain.
As far as the beats are concerned, they are creative, if not a little overused on some occasions. Album opener Escape is probably the best example of how slick and sublime Netsky manifests his rhythms - again, the production simply heightens everything to a totally new level. I particularly enjoy the simple melodies on Escape. More complex melodies are present on Secret Agent but despite them being more intricate the track is nonetheless catchy. That is the real beauty of the songs present on this album - they are diverse and interesting musically but they remain as catchy as hell.
Whilst I was disappointed with his follow up to this, Netsky proved himself to be a formidable force in the modern dnb world with this debut. There are tons of great tracks, lots of replay value and overall this is some of the most well produced dnb I have heard. I just wish he would have continued with this sound in his later efforts rather than commercialising to some extent. If he had done, I'm sure he would be one of the best in dnb today.