Acclaimed producer and DJ, Nick Hook released his debut studio album, ‘Relationships‘ in November of last year. The Electronic and House producer crafted a raging house-party vibe, with heavy bass’, over-the-top synths, machine gun pace snares and a star-studded selection of features.
The album cover is one of my favourites of 2016. The subtleness of the room, covered top to bottom with signatures of artists’ who’ve all collaborated with the Fool’s Gold producer. Names that appear on the album include Scottish producer and Kanye West collaborator Hudson Mohawke, “Issa” 21 Savage, Grime emcee Novelist and Action Bronson associate Meyhem Lauren.
The album plays out like one recording session. The transgression of the last song into the next song works perfectly, as Hook recruits a wide range of additional producers as well as vocalists to help create his album. “Pro-Choice”, one of slower records on the track-listing, has deep swirling synths, cocaine-fuelled hi-hats and codeine keys. Father turns up for a pretty LiT verse and comical ad-libs. “Evolisontherise”, Hooks’ collaboration with Mohawke is a short Dance and House inspired track. Clocking in at just under a minute, it sees the two producers going head-to-head with a high-pitched vocal sample, sporadic drums and intense synths.
“Dive For You” featuring New York rapper, Junglepussy, is a fun, dance-your-heart-away on pills record. Jungles’ vocals are woozy and laid back while the thumping beat, filled with wicked hi-hats, falling-down-rabbit-hole synths and distorted snares just make me wanna sweat and dance all night. The breakdown a minute before the end, with smooth glossy keys and vocal effects also add a psychedelic atmosphere around it. One of my favourites on the album has to be the Novelist record “Can’t Tell Me Nothing”. Not only is Novelists’ flow aggressive and intriguing, his voice matches the high-pitched bells and all over the place bells that allow him to show off his rapping abilities as well as wanting to prove his greatness.
Other tracks that stand out is “Live While I’m Livin” featuring Meyhem Lauren. His rough vocals over the slow melodic keys and jangling of symbols allow him to give a nostalgic sounding flow that sounds inspired by Wu-Tang legend Raekwon. However, my favourite off the album is most definitely the 21 Savage “Head”. Starting off with amazing psychedelic keys, it then transforms into a heavy Trap/EDM track. 21 brings his monotone flow and lyrics to the aggressive instrumental. It also contains some of 21s’ most exciting and turnt-up ad-libs.
In all, I like the album. The production is great and the way Hook creates beats inspired through Electronic music as well as Hip-Hop and Rock, shows how diverse he is as a producer. Although the albums title is ‘Relationships’ and the majority of tracks are collaborations, only a select few stand out as real friendships.