Review: PVC – Crank It

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The talented Brighton based Bass producer shows the scene how tasteful bootlegging is done.

Usually, doing a standalone review of a bootleg isn’t something we’d consider here at Selecta. Most tend to be complete and utter disappointments to themselves and the original track, often sounding incredibly similar to the endless amount of other bootlegs saturating pretty much every genre of dance music.

Exceptions to this are few and far between, especially within Bass music, but they do exist. TC4 have nailed a fair few. Hamdi showed that upcoming producers are capable of successfully changing the vibe of track with his grime edit of ‘Enemies In The Dance‘. Conducta even turned Faith Evans into a UKG diva.

Cast your mind back 2 years, to before Ten Walls got himself ostracised by pretty much everyone in music for going on a homophobic rant, and you may remember a track called ‘Walking With Rhinos’. It was at this time PVC first showed the whole Bass scene his ability to make a good job of a bootleg, completely revibing the track into instant pull up material, at the same time showcasing his high production standards.

Bring yourself back to the present day, and PVC is back at it again. We stumbled across his latest bootleg of Kideko & George Kwali’s ‘Crank It’ and it is absolutely top rate, managing to maintain a lot of the key elements of the original whilst also showing off his signature brand of bass.

Both versions start nearly exactly the same, the only difference being that the bootleg is noticeably faster. 8 bars in however, and PVC signals his intent with a sinister, low pitched rumble. The initial breakdown and buildup are also alike, save PVC adding some choice sound effects and teasing in his impending bassline through a high pass filter. The pitching down of the vocal just before the drop is the final indicator as to how this bootleg is going to run.

The main drop is a ‘call and response’ type affair; 2 bars of aggressive, yet interesting, almost cultured, stomping basslines acting as the call and 2 bars of rolling sub bass responding back. This carries on for 16 bars, with both sections getting flashes of the catchy original vocal so there’s no forgetting that this is a bootleg.

Whilst this is definitely enough to get a killer reaction in the rave, it’s the next couple of sections that really show how clever PVC has been about this. Somehow, he manages to leave the bass intensive vibe he’s created uncompromised whilst adding in more and more sounds from the original track – our favourite being the liberal usage of that ‘Mercy VIP‘ sounding percussion.

Following this is the build up to the breakdown and as soon as we heard the piano stab from the original, we realised this was a perfect choice of track for PVC to bootleg; it allows him to focus almost entirely on the details of drums and basses because there’s already elements of the funk and soul he would add to his own productions present.

The same techniques are used throughout the second drop, with intelligent gaps and fills, and vocal chopping used to great effect to keep momentum moving.

Production standard wise, there’s not a lot we can fault. The drums are full, borrowing some high end from the original track as well as the aforementioned percussion. The sub is big, but gives the kick plenty of room to breathe, and everything else has been mixed in beautifully; nothing stands out as annoying or out of place.

Overall Rating: 9/10

There’s no weird key changes on the drop making it sound like 2 different tracks, there’s no out of tune vocals anywhere and he isn’t relying on an over-the-top bassline to get a reaction. If you want to know how to bootleg a popular tune properly, look no further. PVC has created an edit that is true to his own sound whilst intelligently borrowing all the main pieces from the original and working around them rather than forcing them to fit. 

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