Nocturnal Sunshine - Can't Hide the Way I Feel

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  • The first time I heard "Can't Hide the Way I Feel" was in Scuba's excellent RA Podcast, where it acted as a feigned bit of human warmth amidst Scuba's technoid machines. Feigned because aside from the vocals, there's nothing human about Nocturnal Sunshine's icy beats, which sound like they could cut glass. Nocturnal Sunshine marks the first release on new Lick My Deck sublabel SkunkWorks, and is the new dubstep-oriented alias for Maya Jane Coles. She's one half of dubstep-ish vocal duo She Is Danger and an emerging tech house superstar under her own name. Tech house is an interesting angle from which to approach dubstep, and it shows in Nocturnal Sunshine's thinned and springy percussion, and the way it repetitively cycles without much in the way of variation. There are structural affinities too: each track endlessly repeats a catchy vocal refrain over a static beat and a shifting melodic element. That's an unfairly scientific way of looking at them, however, and for someone who might be considered an outsider, these are convincing and powerful tracks. "Broke" drops its beat in and out as ominous chords form out of ringing vocal refrains and guitars lick at the looming expanse. It's a satisfying piece of percussion-heavy 2010 dubstep, with a driving beat suitable for peaktime but atmospherics ripe for opening sets or gently winding down. This release, though, is all about "Can't Hide the Way I Feel," the writhing monster that both fetishizes extreme pain and bottles it up in an unbearably spiraling arpeggio that grows and shrinks without ever revealing an opening. It's metallic, impenetrable and mechanistic, and it's a supremely impressive piece of work that belongs alongside 2010's other dubstep elite. Normally, this kind of conscious genre switch towards dubstep is the kind of thing best avoided like the plague, but Nocturnal Sunshine is worth making an exception for.
  • Tracklist
      A1 Cant Hide The Way I Feel B1 Broke