Lakosa certainly can’t be accused of ‘playing safe’ in ‘Nubian Minds.’ He takes on a potentially distracting vocal sample, but in clinical and sufficiently creative execution, it works.
It must be said, though, the vocal line is the defining characteristic of this track – an ethereal string of cultural references steeps the tune in a 5am trance and makes for a conceivably memorable moment in a DJ set. That said – it takes two to tango; the drum programming is no let down. The depth of the bass notes and the spacy synths allow room for flickering snares and hi-hats, and for dark rhythms, to take hold. It is unmistakably intelligent sound design, one which only shows its true worth when the vocal fades.
Mau’lin tones down the vocal slightly, placing more emphasis on a progressive drum. The track promptly explodes into a ravey drop full hissing mid-frequencies and sample snippets. This version gives Lakosa‘s tune a little more dancefloor power; in that sense, it is the middle ground between the original and the WNCL remix.
The West Norwood Cassette Library remix takes ‘Nubian Minds’ in a very different direction – one very valuable to the diversity of the release. It mercilessly strips back the headphone-friendly character and the entire vocal; leaving only a pad rhythm which is dubbed in 4×4 kicks and a ‘WNCL’ soundbite. My pick of the remixes.
Lakosa is one of a large number of UK producers going through the same stage in their career. He’s showing all the promise necessary to ‘make it,’ and a creative edge that’s as important as any technical attribute these days. For me though, it wont be this release that is his breakthrough, but I expect it will come.
Out now via Shifting Peaks.