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Koan Sound – The Adventures of Mr. Fox (Review)

Koan Sound is the frontrunner of today’s bass-heavy UK glitch hop sound thanks to high-level production and backing by Skrillex’s OWSLA label. That kind of exposure is sure to sky rocket your sound in to the mainstream, but don’t get it twisted; Koan Sound isn’t delivering pop hooks or candy-coated house tracks. Not by a long shot.

What you do hear on their new EP The Adventures of Mr. Fox is an expansion of their subwoofing future funk that rised to the top of Beatport charts via Funk Blaster EP. My favorite part of this new EP is the addition of non-EDM subgenres that creeped in to the tracks. On the appropriately titled “80’s Fitness” the two adequately used a “chika-wah-wow” guitar sound and sampled a Richard Simmons-style voice to urge you to “bounce your body on the floor (and do it more and more and more)”.

“Eastern Thug” boasts an intro that would fit right in to an Emancipator set. I’m not sure how, but they manage to manifest that downtempo intro in to a full on sub-assault with the hardest drop of the EP. The banger is one of Koan Sound’s most vicious works to date, but it seems to drag on just a little due to its 5+ minute length. However, I’m sure it will be a terrific asset to their already bouncy set when properly mixed.

With downtempo and 80s aerobics music sounds covered, what will the English pair touch on next? Sweet, sweet Jazz. On my favorite track off Mr. Fox, Koan Sound proves why they are the top players in today’s glitch hop world with a production level higher than Snoop Lion at a reefer party. From the tapped high hats and the carefully crafted organ sounds all the way down to that funky-ass bassline, “Sly Fox” is bonafied FIRE. You don’t believe me? Listen for yourself. [soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/57879985″ iframe=”true” /]

Finally, Koan Sound gets super experimental. If you’re a stickler for genres, I would classify this track as future garage-dubstep-downtempo, but labels are kind of stupid. Unarguably it is a great, chill(er) tune to close out the original tracks on the EP. While the duo are no stranger to chill remixes (Andain’s “Promises”), this is the first original production I have heard with this oceanic sound. Played out like a futuristic Planet Earth soundtrack, this song would be my choice for a 2012 Donkey Kong under-water level.


And then there are the remixes. The bonus 3 remixes by Reso, Neosignal and Opiuo are good, but don’t really differentiate enough from the original tracks to make a strong impact. If anything, I’ll check out Reso & Neosignal whom I am unfamiliar with and hope that they have strong tracks for me to discover. Opiuo is already awesome, so I’ll continue to bump his tracks (particularly the Ray Charles remix).

You can purchase The Adventures of Mr. Fox by heading over to Beatport or iTunes. We will have reviews of the new Archnemesis EP and GRiZ album soon too, so check back for those over the next few days!

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