25 Sep 2021

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Justin Sane - Single Review: You Bout That

10 Jun 2021 // A review by Jamie Denton

Ex-UK, now Auckland-based DJ/producer, Justin Sanehas a long history in the music industry. He has been releasing music for over 15 years, both within Aotearoa New Zealand and the UK, and has a long list of collaborations with a wide range of artists (including Dane Rumble, Kids in Space, 3Oh!3 and J. Williams) under his belt. On this new single, entitled You Bout That, that list of collaborators grows to include NZ hip-hop icon Ruckus Garvey (ex-Misfits of Science), AKA Colossal.

I have previously described the tension (the risk vs reward) that exists in musical collaboration. The exciting new creative avenues, new horizons, new sounds, new approaches, and new ways of conceptualising your own music, thoughts, and feelings versus the risk of compromising your own signature sound, that x-factor that connects you to your audience, and creative control over your own musical output. However, a good collaboration is pure gold and pulls the best out of both artists, creating spectacular new results that are greater than the sum of the parts. This is one of those.

This collaboration brings both artists into the world of lo-fi hip-hop, but that doesn’t mean that they totally abandon their usual bag of tricks at home either. Justin Sane brings his strong rhythmic sensibilities to the musical backdrop, laying down a multi-layered, sample-heavy, and intriguing foundation for Ruckus Garvey’s cheeky, playful, MC skills to play skilfully over. Musically, this calls to mind the impressive work on Fort Minor’s The Rising Tide album, some of the more accomplished, polished, and timeless 808 State (especially with MC Tunes) work, but with a distinctly Kiwi flavour to it. Perhaps it’s the wonderful subtlety used in the song hook (no overplayed and cliche, big soaring power-vocal akin to a gospel church, but rather just a solid, catchy, repeated, melodic, ear-worm of a hook), the very laid-back vibe throughout the track (you can almost hear sausages sizzling on a BBQ in the background), it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what it is that gives it that distinctly kiwi feel, but it’s in there, buried in the song’s DNA.

This is an extremely tight, lean, and muscular track. It's quick 2-minute 24-second run-time just begs for repeated listens. But this is also ably assisted by a very clever songwriting trick; the song itself doesn’t quite resolve naturally. There is no classic double chorus, big crescendo climactic finish, sudden key-change, obviously different middle-8 portion, or repeated vocal phrase, or any of these tried-and-true techniques used to subconsciously signal the listener to the impending end of the track. This is very clever, and works perfectly within this track, as it leaves the listener seeking a sense of completion or resolution through additional listens.

Overall, I really enjoyed the track. I was pleasantly surprised with the strength of this collaboration and would love to see more come from this.

Watch the video here

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )

About Justin Sane

Justin Sane has been DJing at clubs and events around the world since 1997, released countless remixes and bootlegs on numerous labels, hosted Party Hard Mix on The Edge for 5 years and had singles in the Top 20 New Zealand Singles Chart.

In 2020, Justin Sane again teamed up with fellow singer/Songwriter Huz and began releasing music again, both tracks of which ended up in the #3 dance singles on iTunes and in the Top 30 overall NZ singles, one reaching the #10 spot.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Justin Sane


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