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Favorite ThisDesigner Drugs: Hardcore/Softcore Review

Published: February 24, 2011

By: Kerry McNeil

Michael Vincent Patrick and Theodore Paul Nelson, the faces behind DJ duo Designer Drugs, are celebrating the release of their debut full-length album Hardcore/Softcore (Ultra Music). Though the two have made a name for themselves in the electronic and dance scene with nearly 50 remixed tracks for artists such as Mariah Carey, Annie, Thieves Like Us, and Little Boots—all while Nelson keeps up with medical school—they’ve still found time to put out their first record, accompanied by a North American tour to support the release.

Even with their busy personal lives and demanding schedule, along with countless requests for remixes, Patrick and Nelson have managed to produce an album with a dark, edgy feel to it that makes it hard to sit still.

With the album-opening “Dead Meat,” Designer Drugs bring back Beastie-Boys-esque vocals with a stronger and more deadly vibe, an irresistible melody, and an industrial-club sound that will instantly start the party.

“Through the Prism,” the first single off the record, is a melodically stimulating track bound to release your inner ‘triple swagger’ and get you dancing to its addictively heavy bounce. Brooklyn rapper Cerebral Vortex lends coolly intense vocals to the track, only enhancing the club-banging sound.

The single has also been released with a whole bunch of remixes from the likes of Swedish electro house duo Dada Life, Brooklyn producer Drop The Lime (available as a free download here), Philly producers PLS DNT STP, and French producer Tom Deluxx.

“For All We Know,” has an ominous, yet catchy piano melody and eerie whispered vocals, building into a guitar-riffed chorus in a truly synthed up nu-gaze fashion. The next track “Follow Me,” though shorter than its predecessor, also has the nu-gaze feel to it with a piano-melody and some quietly creepy vocals.

“Riot,” will do just what the title implies—get the audience into an electro-dance riot with its synth-based crescendos and chanting vocals barreling into a fist-pumping melody, as does “Into the Light.”

Pounding, heaving beats from “Face Melter,” “The Terror,” and “Drop Down,” add a diverse flavor to the record, flowing seamlessly into one cohesive release that gives meaning to the album title.

The duo even dips into the realm of electro-pop with guest vocals from Annie on “Crazy for You,”—a fast-paced, upbeat jam that manages to stay true to the edgy sound throughout the album, while still differentiating itself from the rest.

Designer Drugs pour out track after track on Hardcore/Softcore that somehow meld into a creatively varied mash-up of styles, blending seamlessly in a terrific bang-up of electro-dance-club-nu-gaze madness.

Designer Drugs - Through The Prism (Drop The Lime Remix)


Tags: ElectroHouse