Posted by Scott Willats
There are certain artists who know how to make the most of it every time they step into the studio. When you consider that the “studio” often consists of a laptop in a hotel room somewhere, it’s even more amazing just how rich and dynamic these tracks end up sounding. Exhibit A: Felix Cartal.
It’s a dramatic statement, but I’ll stand by it: there is no one in the world right now creating better big room house bangers than this Vancouver-based artist. March 27 is the release date for his new album Different Faces, and it’s a work many electro heads and EDM fanatics have been waiting years to hear.
First off, let’s break down Cartal’s catalogue. This is the artist who’s given us stadium bangers such as “Drugs,” “The Joker” and “The Riddler,” not to mention cult classics like “Montreal Dreams,” and two personal favourites of mine: “Skeleton” and “Drone.” With a track record like that, you can see why he’s held in such high regard, not just by his boss Steve Aoki, but by everyone in the EDM game. His tracks are usually the first to played, the first to be remixed, and first to be loved by millions. So when I sat down to listen to Different Faces, I expected a lot.
What I got was a slap in the face accompanied by a raised eyebrow that said, “What the f**k did you think I was gonna do?”
What did I think? When “Don’t Turn On The Lights” came out in December, I’ll confess it didn’t give me the electric shakes I usually feel when I listen to Felix Cartal. I think I was worried that the album would be rushed and overly calculated to make sales. Slap again. “What the f**k did you think I was gonna do?” Of course not. Felix dropped pure class with this one: a summer anthem playlist and a tutorial for other producers on how to make bangers. It’s as close to The Source magazine’s famous 5 mic rating as you’re ever going to get, and so intense that it sucks the oxygen right out of your lungs. It’s that good.
Every track has its own personality. The tunes with vocals are radio-ready (as in, “ready to take over the radio”), and the instrumentals are every DJ’s dream. This is going to be the hit of WMC in Miami, and a definite top 10 finisher in on a lot of year-end best albums lists. It’s inspiring, too, to see the best EDM coming out of Canada again.
I’d love to go into every track in detail, but let’s give it all some time to sink in. For now, here are my preliminary faves — sure to change by the end of the week. Only to change again. Did I mention how good this album is? It’s good.