Blackboxx – Adonis [Review]

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NM Recordings keep up their assault on the UK underground with a top notch EP from Edinburgh based producer Blacboxx featuring remixes by Doctor Nick, Cellardore and Moony.

Adonis [Original Mix]

The title track opens brightly with some beautiful sounding plucks creating a dreamy backdrop for the r’n’b vocal cuts and 2 step drums. ‘Adonis’ then drops into a serious sub work out, with a variety of basses. There’s so many different bass sounds, but it does’t sound messy or congested; each one sits in the mix perfectly, subtly providing variation to keep the track progressing. An organ occasionally cuts across, giving the vocal a melodic element to bounce off. Our favourite part of the track is in fact the vocal. The chops are tastefully done, very nearly creating a ‘singalong’ element and they’re a nice contrast with the plucks against the darker sounding bass. The drums are mixed really well, with the fat kick and a wicked, old school sounding snare anchoring the whole tune.

Link Up

The chords at the start of ‘Link Up’ are spine tingling-ly lush. Full, gorgeous and soulful, we knew we were in for a treat from, quite literally, the first second. This track sounds like a modern take on old school, chilled out UKG, and the production standard is top notch. The vocal chops on ‘Link Up’ eventually expand into full phrases, allowing more emotion to flow through the track. Even though it’s far more relaxed than ‘Adonis’, there is still a slight edge provided by a few of the basses, though the majority of the track rolls over a no-frills sub. ‘Link Up’ is definitely the stand out track on the EP for us, it’s straight up good vibes.

Adonis (Moony Remix)

The first remix out of 3 of the title track, Moony has turned ‘Adonis’ into a banger. The chords he uses create tension alongside the original vocal and uncompromising drums. The kick / snare combo are so large we’re surprised Moony has managed to squeeze a bassline alongside them at all, let alone one so fat sounding! It’s an absolute room shaker, and the most dance floor orientated mix on the release. There’s plenty of melodic content on offer too as an almost muted riff sounds off against the vocal snippets, and the chords slide back into the fore every now and again.

Adonis (Cellardore Remix)

Cellardore consistently proves he’s one of the most creative forces in the scene and his mix of ‘Adonis’ has done that once again. Taking chopping to a new level, Cellardore makes the vocal almost the complete focus of the tune, as it not only provides the majority of the rhythmic and melodic content for the first 1 minute and 53 seconds, but also sets the tone for the whole remix. The intro is swathed in 80s sounding sustained synths, stabs and strings. On the drop the vocals are pitched up an octave and a plucky bass, also sounding like something straight from an 80s dance tune, comes in. The second section is a work of art; a break is introduced to give the drums some high end, but it’s in the other percussion and the reverb-laden claps Cellardore shows off his attention for detail. The resonance on the bass increases over time, giving it a laser-like sound, and together with everything else and the vocal reasserting itself, the track goes from sparse and open to intense and intricate very quickly.

Adonis (Doctor Nick Remix)

The final remix of the release is easily the most chilled out of the 3, and it’s immediately noticeable who is on the buttons. The original intro has almost been kept the same but for some clever EQ, and Doctor Nick’s calling card of crisp, wonderfully produced drums with yet more silky, soulful chords. It’s a testament to the Doctors abilities that he’s able to create a completely new vibe using just these elements with a well rounded sub and some further cutting of the vocals. The highlight of this tune for us are the 4×4 switch and the keys solo. This remix oozes pure class and will be the go-to version of ‘Adonis’ in warmer months.

Selecta’s Favourite Track: Link Up

Overall Rating: 8/10

A quality all rounder from Blackboxx and NM Recordings, with something each for the ravers and the people looking for chilled garage. The production standards on both originals and all 3 remixes are sky high. 

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