Progressive house is fun. There‘s no denying that. On occasion, it takes a step back from the straight, fixed repetition of pure house. But it also steers clear of the pounding aggression of hardcore. A defining characteristic of the subgenre is the fact that many producers seek to add more depth and meaning to their music. A prime example of this in the past 15 years would be Faithless. Progressive house also ventures further into pop territory than what would be considered by many to be “serious” dance music. This is where Project 46 comes in.
The duo of Thomas Shaw and Ryan Henderson are some of the most recent arrivals in the influx of electronic performers from Canada: specifically, Vancouver. Before rising to sudden acclaim last year, they cut their teeth releasing the odd original track in addition to a slew of dance remixes of songs from a wide range of performers such as Kelly Clarkson, Usher, The Killers, Flo Rida, and P!nk.
Now, recent months have seen Shaw and Henderson collaborate with the likes of Avicii and Paul Oakenfold. And their first EP, Continuum, is making the rounds. With Continuum, Project 46 comes into its own and shows its mastery of progressive house.
The appropriately titled “Catalyst” kicks it out right off the bat with high, single synth notes overtop deeper, buzzing synths. This is the heaviest and most dynamic of Continuum’s three tracks and has several builds that come down into crashing drops. A bit of breakbeat and stutter is thrown in for good measure.
“Ekho” was my favorite. Here, Shaw and Henderson use echoing synths and live piano to showcase the lighter, more upbeat sound that is identified with much of progressive house.
“Waiting” is the most pop-oriented track and features collaboration with Soundwell and original vocals by KORY.
Project 46 is yet another example of producers staying within a niche of electronic music and getting all they can out of it. Hopefully, Shaw and Henderson will follow in the footsteps of other great progressive house performers like Leftfield and Tiesto and conjure some monumental, iconic dance hits.