Mile High Livin’
Hard Way (ft. Spirah)
The Remaining Light
Mile High Livin’ (Morillo Remix)
One of the best things to come out of these past 12 months is the sheer wealth of new music created by artists holed up at home. With nowhere to go, lots of time to think and plenty of avid listeners, many artists have shifted their focus from DJing to music production.
Full Circle then is a very impressive showcase of talent; an album that blends elements of bass, rap and breakbeat to create a unique musical journey that effortlessly skips between genres.
From start to finish, Full Circle is a joy to listen to and the shifting balance between dirty bass grooves and interesting instrumental and vocal samples work their magic across this 10 track EP.
These samples in particular are great, with mischievous string chimes in “Mile High Livin”, raindrops in “The Remaining Light” and big, brass instruments in “Hard Way” constantly mixing things up across the album.
This really helps to prevent this one stagnating and keeps Full Circle feeling fresh throughout. That’s always the most difficult part of albums like this, and it’s something that a lot of artists slip into across the dance music spectrum. Whether it be techno, house, drum and bass or even psy-trance, a lot of artist albums tend to utilize the same sonic or compositional techniques and it eventually becomes a little too “samey.”
Full Circle feels self-aware of this problem, intentionally switching up compositional tricks across each track. The breakdowns and ensuing crescendos tend to crop up at different timings across the album, while a brand new sample or sudden key change between tracks only adds to this too. It’s subtle, and something not a lot of people will likely pick up on, but this is an album that’s been created with one question in mind: “How can I make this song stand out?”
I mentioned earlier about this being a musical journey, and one of the more literal examples of that comes in the form of “A Calling”, which takes listeners through the Redwoods of Kings Mountain, California.
This track is an interesting one in truth – and arguably the most polarizing on the album too. The song switches between heavy bass, guitar riffs and a vocal sample that feels like it’s been ripped from a pop-rock record. The result is a track that feels weirdly at-odds with itself, trying to do a little too much and not quite pulling off the end-result.
Personally, I think this one would have worked better without slamming so hard into the heavy bass, but given my own studio skills are limited to fruity loops and very basic piano work, take this critique with a pinch of salt!
To be honest though, Contra Scandal has created a rather unique album here. This is a showcase of compositional talent that’s well worth checking out. When you finish with this, don’t be surprised if you find yourself going full circle and replaying this album again.