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Favorite ThisLabRat: Strange Nights EP Review

Published: June 11, 2013
By: Scotty Fuller

Bay Area bass producer, LabRat, just released his five song EP, Strange Nights. After listening to it for a day now, I think he should rename it ‘Rage Nights,’ because this face-melter is more than ready to keep your body moving throughout the night.

Are you trying to go out and blow some money? Turn up “Ballin” and let the syncopated syths and heaving bass rock your world. You’ll be ballin’ out with a fine lady (or dude) before you know it.

Or are you the type of person who loves a super crunchy jam rattling you brain while you work out? "Battleground" is your anthem. When an artist names a song something like “Battleground,” it better get rowdy.  This one exceeds expectations. This song is easily the darkest sounding on the album as well as the most exciting.

The album changes pace slightly during “Funk Take 2.”  Both this track and “Stutter” are efforts towards a funkier sound for LabRat. However, one song achieves the funk much better than the other. I feel like the title of these two tracks should have been switched.  "Stutter" featuring frequest co-conspirator Jamburglar combines sweeping bass in the background with funky keyboard rifts in the foreground that make the song almost feel like a bass heavy Pretty Lights jam. "Funk Take 2" just doesn’t quite hit that funkiness bar. Instead, it is the one song that gets lost in the mix. Looks like there will have to be a "Funk Take 3."

The title track of the EP, “Strange Nights,” is just good, old-fashioned LabRat. The futuristic build into an unexpected early drop will take you from 0-to-rage in 1 second flat. The song never goes back to its calm intro, but rather continues through the guttural bass madness that Travis Egner-Williams has mastered.

Overall, this is an effort that LabRat should be proud to share with the world. It would have been nice to hear a few more “outside the box” jams like “Stutter” and “Funk Take 2.” Even though stepping outside of your comfort zone might not always equal a good song, it is absolutely essential in EDM today. LabRat is clearly a beast at what he does, so we're excited to hear what new boundaries he can push. That being said, download this album because of what it is, not what is could be.  What it is a great future funk, bass-heavy collection that will satisfy your urge to get down.

Tags: Dubstep