Nadine – Motions [Review]

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The long awaited debut EP from Nadine drops today on Project Allout Records, and the wait has certainly been worth it.

If you’d have taken a glance at Nadine’s Soundcloud a month ago, you’d have seen 2 tracks, both of which are almost a year old. Have a look at her social media feeds however, and you’ll see that Nadine has been very active during that year, wheeling up tunes all over the country.

That’s not all she’s been doing though. Nadine has spent the last 12 months painstakingly perfecting her production techniques and creating her own unique sound, all to build up to this moment – her first full release.


Nadine’s last upload on Soundcloud before ‘Motions’ was this preview featuring Bru-C


A 4 track EP (including a collaboration with Frazah and 3 solo tracks), ‘Motions’ is a triumph – after a whole host of people on social media claimed women just aren’t as capable in the studio, it’s sick to hear from Nadine that every single bass and synth, and most of the effect, were entirely hand created by herself. No ghost producer. No presets. Just hours upon hours of an artist dedicated to delivering something personal.

Motion

Kicking the release off is ‘Motion’, a heavy collaboration with Leeds based producer Frazah that has already been championed by Holy Goof. Opening with old school stabs, and a concise clap with a tasty amount of reverb applied, sound effects ping from left to right in the background. Heading towards the breakdown, a foreboding horn appears, adding the tension needed pre drop – and said drop does not disappoint. A huge amount of crunchy, metallic bass noises come and go as none of them take ownership of the main riff for more than a second at a time, though it’s not a bad thing – the madness will only increase the demand for a rewind.  The actual riff is fairly simple, but there’s a huge amount going on including the ghostly synth in the background that works it’s way in to the mix. It’s not until the second 16 bars that a high pitched bass, reminiscent of old school bassline tunes, commits to directing the track and gives ravers the chance to catch their breath. The rest of the track follows the same structure, with the breakdown similar to the introduction and the 2nd drop replicating the first, before easing itself out via those lush stabs on the outro. ‘Motion’ definitely fulfils it’s role as a club banger for the obvious reasons, and we enjoyed noticing smaller things like the sheer amount of sound effects used to pad out and provide momentum to the track. With no vocal to draw attention, every individual element has to blend in perfectly, and it’s something we feel is achieved.

Crazy

Following up from ‘Motion’ is ‘Crazy’, where we hear Nadine introduce a theme of high pitched diva-esque vocals that carries on throughout the rest of the release. The track starts with shuffling hats and claps, with ghost snares almost creating a UK Funky feel. The massive reverb generously applied on the clap at the end of every 4 bars creates a gorgeous amount of space, as a high pitched staccato string forges a backdrop for the vocal. The drop is sudden and consists of 2 metallic basslines riffing off against each other. The sheer amount of space left over means there’s no compromising on the sub at all either. More bass sounds are introduced as the track progresses, each one more wonky than the last. As everything strips back ahead of the breakdown, the vocal reappears, seemingly with a high cut filter on this time. With the filter quickly returning the vocal to full power, the track drops for a second time, but this time there’s a switch up. The whole second half of the track differs from the first, and we’re certain it’ll create the desired effect of absolute madness in the rave, as the basses are used in different combinations on new riffs. It honestly sounds sick, almost becoming a ‘Crazy VIP’ within itself.


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Behind The Scene: Project Allout Records


Me & You

Me & You seems to be slightly more garage influenced than the rest of the tracks on ‘Motions’ and that’s no bad thing. The drums are snappy (Nadine is apparently a big fan of tight, crisp claps), and the kick doesn’t take up too much space in the mix which is a good job too because the bassline is monstrously big. Starting with more diva vocals, a reverb laden string plays call and response with a high-pass filtered teaser of bass, before suddenly the whole track is flipped into an absolute stomper. Though the bassline is massive, there’s plenty of gaps that allow the vocal and strings to carry on showing themselves off. With the bass sounds switching up, the shuffling percussion reintroduces itself, bringing the garage vibe back with it. Then, as quick as a flash, ‘Me & You’ suddenly breaks down and drops all over again in the space of 15 seconds. The second drop consists of the same sounds, but a variation on the bass pattern. This, as well as a different chop from the vocal being used, creates a darker, more aggressive vibe. There’s really a lot to like about ‘Me & You’, and in our opinion it’s the best produced track on the EP.

Intoxicated

If there’s a tune on ‘Motions’ that really feels like Nadine pushed her boundaries, it’s ‘Intoxicated’. Without a doubt the track bangs, but it’s on a different vibe to the rest of the release. Employing those high pitched rnb vocals one final time, ‘Intoxicated’ seems an appropriate name for such a wonky, staggering, start and stop 3 minutes and 40 seconds. Making use of a grimey sounding waveform coupled with some sort of high pitched drone, the vocal rides the 4×4 drums on the intro. The chopping on the vocal is sick, and very clever, building momentum during the kick rolls pre-drop, before being shortened to abrupt syllables, allowing the wandering bassline to take the spotlight. And wander it does, as a variety of sounds play Nadine’s most creative riff yet, which is also the main cause of the tunes crooked aesthetic. The rest is caused by drums dropping out at the end of bars, and the absolutely wicked half time drums at the start of the second drop. Used perfectly, it’s around just long enough for the rave to lose it’s shit, but not too long that it’s boring. Ultimately ‘Intoxicated’ is the perfect end to ‘Motions’; it shows that Nadine is already thinking about how she’s going to progress her sound next, and with that, gets us excited to hear what she’s capable of in the future.

Selecta’s Favourite Track – Me & You

Overall Rating – 8/10

Project Allout’s faith in new talent has once again paid off, as Nadine has come through with the goods on ‘Motions’. Reminding us of both Pavv and Notion, the release really doesn’t have any low points, and from it’s quality drum programming and processing to it’s dancefloor destroying basslines, it’s going to get a lot of love. Almost guaranteed to smash the charts on Juno and other digital download stores, Nadine has proven herself as not only one of UK Bass’ top DJs, but one of the scenes top upcoming producers. The sheer determination not to use any pre-fabricated sounds says untold amounts about her work ethic and if she can get a consistent release schedule going, there’s no reason ‘Motions’ can’t be the start of something very big for her.

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