Dubstep in Conecticut: :Dface
Contrary to the title, this post is entirely concerned with moombahton. This time on our continuing series, “Dubstep in Connecticut” we bring you the cranked down bpm’s and stomping beats of Stamford’s : Dface (not to be confused with the bit band : ( or colonopenbracket). Don’t let this emoticon turned production alias fool you into thinking that Garrett Hickey is any kind of lightweight when it comes to musicality and production talent. This artist rapidly surpassed his status of being Connecticut’s best kept secret in edm, to being nationally respected as a top talent in the moombahton movement that has been gradually invading every corner of electronic music.
Formerly a rock musician with professional proficiencies in guitar and drums, : Dface made a huge cross-genre leap when his pervasive love of moombahton lead him to retire the strings and sticks in 2011. It was only a matter of months before this self taught producer and long time musician was getting the nod from the more well established names in the moombah world for his abilities, innovation, and stylistic sound. It was clear that this artist’s jump to electronic production was the right move early on; with only a couple month’s worth of casual music making, : Dface was scooped up and signed to NYC’s Rot10Musik who have been at the forefront of pushing moombah from the underground to the mainstream with the surprising strength of their release schedule.
Since joining the Rot10 team, : Dface’s music has seriously taken off. His five track EP, Mean Mug, dropped in November of 2011 and steadily battled its way to as high as 15 on Beatport’s Electro House chart. His latest work, No Stopping, launched only yesterday (March 26th) and will likely eclipse his previous titles on the charts, especially as it is already ranked 30th out of 100. As a signal to just how much Rot10 is throwing their support behind their newly found CT powerhouse, the team has been destroying venues around the country and is getting set to start up their “No Stopping Tour.” As you can see above, April is going to be a busy month for the 203′s favorite tour headliner who now gets to jetset around the country in support of latest EP – must feel pretty good.
We’ve been waiting some time to celebrate and share : Dface’s incomparable moombah with you, but wanted his No Stopping EP to drop first. Stick with us as we offer up a brief review of this latest release of awesomeness. Afterwards, we’ll point you towards a couple of free tunes for you to take home and share around.
The EP kicks off with title track “No Stopping.” The claps in the intro will re-emerge in the break in the same form, but the entire tune is more or less carried by claps of different tempo. Tied together with some straightforward vocals, the most apparent aspect to this body mover is : Dface’s addictive synths. Alternatively squelchy and plucky, you can almost picture the artist standing on his keys or smacking away at them as different sounds would indicate. There are excellent bass lines to be had, and at times these mimic a bass guitar so closely one almost wonders if there were any live instrumentation at play on this track. Toward the end of “No stopping,” the percussion gets a nice change up that is a bit of a tease as this track ends just a little bit too quickly.
The second track on No Stopping is “Mad Man.” Though the intro might appear to be a little prolonged, it is without a doubt : Dface’s most in depth and impressive one yet. A fantastic drum kit, some choice sampling, and a groovified melody are absolutely certain to leave you with your guard down. All hell breaks loose at the drop, and “Mad Man” becomes everyone’s instant favorite from the EP. Tricky beats and uncompromising bass are the name of the game with this one; dance floors and headphones alike are guaranteed to be utterly destroyed when what might just be : Dface’s best work yet gets going. A personal favorite aspect to this one is the artist’s lead sounds which really get space to melt face in the latter part of this track. Everything after the second drop is a variation on sounds introduced earlier; taken altogether, this tune is a study in balance.
“Crackel” is the third track on this musical foursome. On top of being spelled interestingly, this track is a special gift from : Dface and his friends at Rot10. Should you be so inclined, feel free to take a free copy of “Crackel” to add to your collection. Though this one approaches the more “traditional moombah sound” than the tracks that preceded it above, it still falls more into the “moombahcore” category due to its slightly darker nature. In any event our Connecticut representative labels all of his tracks on this EP so that they may apply to either variety. Still, with leads on the high end of the spectrum, and a beat that is certain to move your feet, “Crackel” is an excellent lead into No Stopping‘s final track. For the record, the tail end of “Crackel” is fantastic.
“Stand Up” closes the No Stopping EP out in style. As he did on Mean Mug : Dface teams up with fellow Stamford producer Grande Finali to achieve aggressive moombah madness. The vocal sample in the intro (and break) has to make you crack a : Dface of your own – though it signals some oncoming serious business. The bubbly lead sounds and melody to “Stand Up” may be hard to swallow if you haven’t yet developed an ear for moombahton, but it is hard to deny that this tune is likely to set the dance floor in motion. The interplay between percussion and bass is remarkable, but requires a copy not toned down by the SoundCloud player to truly appreciate.
That was our amateur review of CT mainstay : Dface’s new EP No Stopping. Allow us to thank you for reading along by including a pair of free heaters from : Dface. Up first is : Dface’s remix of our international homie H3′s “Asian Girls.” Finally, we’ll leave you with the : Dface remix of “Masterpiece” which, until I was finally able to hear “Mad Man” in full was my favorite track from the Stamfordian to date.
It is innovative artists like our own : Dface that will eventually force Beatport to create a separate moombah chart and force the public to recognize not only the power behind this continually emerging genre, but the strength of the Connecticut electronic scene that is continually overlooked. As with all of the CT-central artists we’ve featured to date, and those well will feature in the future, we offer : Dface our congratulations on his success and our continuing support from here on out.
Artist’s name continually and purposely spelled wrong to avoid a shit ton of ’s