Producer Dara Smith may be better known as one half of Lakker. His debut solo EP, under the moniker Arad, is out soon on Speedy J’s Electric Deluxe Label.
First track, ‘Basswave,’ has the kind of fast, dull, repetitive bass line that you will want to speed up, just to get you to the break just a little bit quicker – so you can feel the joy of not having your head thumped like that over and over. It’s annoyingly compulsive listening. A slight sense of insanity starts to cement itself in my head, as I get further into ‘Fourty Four.’ I don’t advise listening loudly in your headphones if you are in a paranoid state of mind. It’ll just freak you out.
More bounce per ounce to be found in ‘Gedup Awa Dat.’ Its echoing loops ricocheting off one another, as mellow mid range jangles against random bells and the beat just marches on with a skip in its step. It’s a track bound to get a dance floor moving and one I will certainly be found grooving to.
Final track ‘NCS’ reminds me of watching a tiny animal circus, parading around on a record sleeve left on my coffee table one morning after an epic night out… or maybe that was just a dream. It’s fun, it’s uplifting, but a little off the wall.
However, it’s the digitally released bonus tracks that make this EP for me. A totally separate feel from the main EP, these tracks veer off in another more fun-filled direction entirely. ‘Grand Job’ is melodic, rich and whilst as intense as an over-enthusiastic speaker rabbiting on at you an inch from your face without taking a breath, it is beautiful. Like skateboarding down the curve of a rainbow. Second bonus track ‘Tapper’ just make me wonder how many ping pong balls and how big a saucepan you would need to make this track without electronics. I’m half inclined to find out as it’s put me in a fun mood…
6/10 (8/10 for the bonus tracks!)
‘Haon’ will be available January 19th 2015 on 12″ and Digital Download.
Written by Abbi Barham