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GTA - Death To Genres Vol. 1

WREN   (345 reviews)

Posted: 09/15/2015 | Comments: 1 | Rate:

A little over a decade ago I secretly immersed myself in the Philadelphia techno scene. I mainly was there as just another face in the crowd that enjoyed the music and danced around a little. I gravitated towards hard house DJs such as DJ Irene and DJ Venom and occasionally dabbled in the trance world with genre titans Juno Reactor and the Tranceworld Compilation records. This would go on for a short amount of time and then I fell off very hard. No one I knew listened to it and although my wife likes to dance, she is more into the whole dancehall/hip-hop/reggaeton type and some steadily thumping bass isn’t her really her bag. Then a few years later I was introduced to Diplo and his Major Lazer project. I shed my skin and decided that I would get back into the EDM scene. If it meant going it alone, so be it.

I’ve been back at it for a few years now and it’s been a very refreshing time with music for me because of it. Almost everything is new. Styles that weren’t around or were only in their infancy are becoming huge and the scene has become massive. Just take a look at some of the big fests like Ultra, Tomorrow World, or EDC; they have 100,000 people in attendance. In this time frame of getting back into the swing of things, I’ve easily found the big timers like Diplo, Tiesto, Hardwell, Dillon Francis, Zedd, etc… but much like liner notes used to introduce me to metal and hardcore bands, collaborations from these bigger acts are guiding me to find some of the up and comers, like GTA. I’ve seen their name float around here and there but never really got a chance to check them out. Finally, I’m getting around to in the form of their Death To Genres Vol. 1 Mixtape and I’m sad that it took me this long.

Death To Genres must be the duo’s motto because this EP runs the gamut of influences and sounds. Tracks like Morunga and What We Tell Dem, follow the Major Lazer school of thought and combine moombahton and Caribbean flavor that creates an infectious combination of the need to both bounce and twerk. GTA shows their attention to hip-hop with Smokers Unite and R&B with Red Lips. The highlights of the album come during tracks 4-6. Parental Advisory is a pretty typical house track but slows down twice for the dancers to get a little dirty to. Break Your Neck, which I was first introduced to during DJ Snake’s set at Ultra this past year, bounces back and forth between dirty house, a trap break, and something very reminiscent of the early 90’s rap game. It’s an eclectic battle that keeps the listener hyped for the entire duration. Lastly, my favorite track of the record is the simple Mic Check. Starts off with a pretty easy Call & Answer routine and then drops pretty upbeat, heavy bass beat. If I ever get to see them live, I will be disappointed if this song does not make the setlist.

My only complaint is that some of the songs are a bit repetitive. Instead of adding something new in the second half, it's normally just a repeat of the first half of the track. I understand that people want to be able to dance to a particular part a second time but not every track needs to follow this formula. It's a very minor complaint to an overall enjoyable record.

I’m still learning the game when it comes to EDM and every few days I seem to find myself introduced to a new sound or artist that seems to blow me away. As my musical tastes have evolved, I expect more from my music. GTA provides me an experience with this record as it spans multiple genres but maintains a common theme. The harsh criticism of the genre is that “they just push buttons” and live that may be the case, however someone has to create these songs in a studio. Unless this album is a fluke, GTA has a great sense of balance and creates songs that are just plain fun and that is most of the point of the EDM scene. If you looking for a good time record, start here and then go see them on the Goons Takeover America Tour when it’s in your town.

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