That Sherelle moment? Quality over quantity. Fixate’s only release of 2019, and probably the biggest UK club tune of the year. You might’ve gotten this too if you were fast enough. This time, on Exit Records, the ride is a much darker one.
Old-school hip-hop bounces with a hair of Rob D vibes begin the journey. Silence. ‘Do you hear it? It’s getting closer…’ before a ferocious assault of drums, Akai’d vocals and Reece bass arrive. You can hear how Fixate’s been honing his craft for almost a decade and a half. Glare is more balanced than previous works – therapeutic, even – emphasizing big builds just as much as the releases, yet it doesn’t hold back on the intensity in the slightest.
The title track is the best demonstration of that. Calming pads ease into sinister synths before Prodigy-esque choir stabs and clean, 4K snares blare. Goldie on acid. It’s all about dynamics, yin and yang, positives and negative, loud versus quiet, but the drops still hit like a sledgehammer. You might think Morbid Chatter is a moody intermission, but then off-kilter bass wobbles teleport in out of nowhere, and Wrong Foot Forward throws everything backwards with its footwork-y layers of raw lasers and rhythm. Pin the DJ Shadow reference on the tune.
Exit Records are always looking for a way out. New territories, new styles closer to the edge. Fixate’s come up with some that sound like nothing else out there, and they’re going to leave many other producers thinking a bit deeper. Again.