Tuesday, 28 October 2014

LONG NEK – MELTING ICE

Last time I heard from Long Nek was on his production on Taiwanese rapper Simon's track '城市車手' ("City Riders"), where he created some soulfully lilting boom bap complete with saxophone and funk-flavoured guitar. Long Nek is from Kaohsiung, Taiwan, and it may surprise you to learn that the island country itself is home to a burgeoning, underground hip hop scene: I also love the flow of female rapper Aristophanes, and the productions of fellow-beatmaker, Luviia.

Not by any means his latest track but one that I've enjoyed since I heard it first is this one, 'Melting Ice'. What he does here definitely has more of a combination hip hop / footwork feel – the BPM feels pretty fast all the way through (no I'm not gonna guess, you guess). It goes through different parts, all bridged by the constant drip-drop of melting ice that is the glassy electronic piano chords, feeling decidedly cool creating their mist above the jazzy stand-up bass flourishes, and the smart raw clacking of the somewhat urgent beat – maybe reflecting the image of actual melting ice and/or the prevention of such melting.

Every now and then a synth lead erupts into view, squawking wildly in the same kind of pentatonic pattern that you'd expect some duelling electric guitars to be in. Sometimes that solo sound is calmer – such as at the start of the second half, where it summons a super-chilled feel. Add to this some rich brass blares, delayed with dub lassitude, and you have yourself a unique number, an atmospheric double-time hip hop head-nodder with all the dancefloor potential of juke.



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