- Almost three years after the release of his debut EP, Leeds producer Happa is still too young to legally enter the clubs he plays without an adult guardian, but his sound continues to evolve beyond his years. In RA's FastForward film about him, the then-16-year-old summed up his musical credo, saying, "Dance music works really well if it has a lot of energy, and I find that if you use aggression to provide the energy, then that's what I love." That's still very much the case on Part 1, the first release on he and Dan Foat's new PT/5 imprint. However, there's also a slight refinement and increased melodic attention amid the brutality, suggesting Happa cloaks his tracks in less murk as he sharpens their ideas.
Standouts "Chewy Teeth" and "Crickets" are different takes on the same dark, pounding house idea. Both send loads of percussive energy into grainy soundscapes of howling chords and layered low-end. "Chewy Teeth" is stormy and vivid, while "Crickets" hits on a moody slow-build. The bass groove and descending key patterns of "Ascension" are perhaps too clean and linear, and the track isn't helped by the tacky call-to-arms vocal. Regardless, Happa's sound is progressing nicely, and Part 1 will go down as another largely impressive staging post.
A1 Chewy Teeth