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Dillon Francis – Something, Something, Awesome [album review]

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Feb 19, 2012

I’m personally astounded that Dillon Francis has kept relatively under the radar for so long. This California native has worked hard at establishing a sound somewhere between moombahton and midrange dubstep, creating something as lighthearted as it is danceable. His second EP Something, Something, Awesome builds on the sound he established with his single I.D.G.A.F.O.S, moulding and shaping it into something refreshingly cheerful.

Falling Up is without a doubt the standout track of the EP. It’s got all the trademark Dillon Francis cheerfulness with a drop that’s more jaunty than it is heavy. I’m a huge fan of the drop, actually; it morphs from chiptune into a 6/8 beat (that he manages to, remarkably, pass off as a 4-on-the-floor sound). This track will no doubt be a popular summer standard for 2012.

Dill the Noise delivers a near-seamless blend of Francis’ own style and that of Kill the Noise, offering a back-and-forth rapport between optimistic highs and compressed siren lows. It’s the longest track on the album, and it needs all the time it can get to develop properly.

In contrast, Now Hear This is a bit of a disappointment, if only because it seems so called-in. It’s a good representation of Francis’ newfound groovy moombahton, sure, but that seems to be where it ends. It features a little more of a crunchy drop, a few more glitchy melodies; unfortunately Falling Up does everything it does, but better.

The main shortcoming of the EP is also, paradoxically, one of its strengths: all of the tracks sound a little bit too alike. Now, this isn’t a problem, per say; it’s a great sound that stands out as unique in the EDM landscape of today. He’s established his sonic trademarks well, but I fear that if he comes to rest too heavily on what he already has he may get stuck in a rut of his own creation. That being said, enjoy this EP for what it is: a high-quality departure from the norm, and surely, one of the best EPs of the year thus far. Buy it if you haven’t already.

A special shout-out goes to I.D.G.A.F.O.S 2.0, a free track distributed to all those who attended the online Facebook EP release. It’s definitely gotten quite the makeover since the first version of it was released last year on Mad Decent. The introduction has been entirely overhauled, exploring a much more minimalist sort of sound. It’s a pity nothing was done with the drop but it’s so good (and so free!) that I forgive it, but it’s a shame. I would have loved to see what Francis would have done with it if given the time.

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SYDNEY J

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