- In the world of big-room dance music, you could do worse than look to '90s house for inspiration. "Be Sharp Say Nowt," the monster A-side from Patrick Topping's latest single, blends gospel wails with crowd noises, a fat kick drum and an earworm synth, which combine for one of the biggest bombs of 2017. Topping's ear for classic sounds is well established—he's made music with Green Velvet—but it's never yielded better results than "Be Sharp Say Nowt."
The track's bassline does most of the work, driving the groove during the periods without a kick drum. The energy builds throughout these breakdowns, the intensity of the simple synth riff rising as track progresses. We don't get a clap until three minutes in, so when it finally appears—crisp and precise—it snaps the groove into place. The groove stays steady for the rest of the track, rolling underneath choral vocals and diva wails that slice through the bassline. Don't let the big-room tag fool you—like Floorplan's gospel bangers, this is considered dance music that still hits hard.
The B-side, "Track Change," is subtler but also well assembled. Vaguely tropical with pumping sub-bass and oddball synths, it's the kind of track Joe, the Hessle Audio producer known for wacky house beats, would make after a night sweating on the Circoloco dance floor. The brain-scrambling breakdown is the sort of thing you'd hear in a Ricardo Villalobos set, and the best moment on an EP that brings much-needed character to the main stage.
01. Be Sharp Say Nowt
02. Track Change