By: Evan Townsend
Lofty, cold, industrial, monumental... The newest EP from Denver-based DJ Ben Samples has all the qualities of its namesake. Skyscraper, slated for release this Friday, is up now on SoundCloud.
It’s only been a matter of months since the release of Samples’ first, full-length album “Choose Your Own Adventure,” but his sound is beginning to change. Samples’ music has always lived in the center of a Venn diagram of bass-heavy genres. Skyscraper, leans more towards gleaming glitch and away from dark dub, while still staying in the vicinity of both.
Like most of the tracks on the album, “Skyscraper VIP” dips into a quick, laser-infused intro before escalating for a huge drop, a technique Samples has clearly mastered. The anticipation builds, releases, then slows back down to be built up and knocked down again. Lather, rinse, repeat.
“Pharway” follows the same pattern, but with the vocal prowess of Rihanna (from her track “Rockstar 101”) sprinkled in. Samples manipulates her sparse vocals to produce a perfect coupling for this dark and energetic track.
Refreshing and powerful, “Viricapnity” lacks any sudden drop, but glides smoothly from slow piano to heavy synth. Without the release of a sudden bass hit, the whole song carries the pent-up energy of an electrical storm. Interestingly, the remix from fellow Coloradan Omega is more on par with Sample’ usual style with its increasing intensity and abrupt drop.
Samples knows what his fans crave—and he delivers. Each track on Skyscraper is heavy, textured, and versatile. At 70 dB, this is a reflective album that offers many layers to explore. At 120 dB, your brain will be too busy clenching to notice them.
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