To be categorized as progressive house, a track doesn’t necessarily have to invent new sounds or create over stylized rhythms. James Talk certainly proves this with “Ain’t That the Way”.
A track that features several familiar house elements, but combines them in a unique and progressive way to create a wholly original piece of music that is as fun to dance to as it to listen to.
As a rising star in the UK dance music scene, Talk obviously knows how to incorporate these playful elements in a fun way. Each portion of “Ain’t That the Way” seems to build on the previous section, but the track maintains a steady flow and cool consistency that is admirable in the era of loud club bangers and over produced dubstep tracks.
The track is by no means “bouncy”. It may not encourage its listeners to jump around, but instead fashions a smooth ride, like a luxury automobile, coasting the listener to their final destination with no bumps or sharp turns. Still, as deliberate as the pace of the track is, it never ceases to engage the listener.
The major strength of the track is that its production allows each element and each part of the song to stand out and shine, if only briefly. Every sound is distinct. Nothing is hidden behind heavy bass lines, or studio effects.
And yet, each element still melds with the others to create an interesting and original rhythm. It’s teamwork at its finest, orchestrated by an excellent coach in Mr. Talk.
The track begins with a minute-and-a-half-long tribal sounding intro. An anchored bass is surrounded by bongos, rapid steel drums and a light hi-hat. Slowly, synths start to come in and the track adds a modern touch to its primitive beginnings. Then, just before the two-minute mark, the biggest star of the show, vocalist Cari Golden, makes her first appearance and adds a smooth voice to the chill beat.
Golden’s vocals are obviously altered a bit with some autotuning and echo effects, but the production values don’t overstay their welcome. They definitely belong; seamlessly blending in with the beat. A more raw vocal performance simply wouldn’t fit here and instead of overpowering the track, Talk lets Golden add to its chill factor with some smooth and seductive lines.
So, there is some production on “Ain’t That the Way”, but Talk doesn’t overdue it. He adds the perfect amount of each ingredient to create a satisfying and scrumptious progressive house recipe. If comfort food made a sound, it would probably closely resemble this track. You’ll want to dance, but when you get tired, you won’t mind relaxing to the track in the background.
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