There aren’t many artists I consistently love as much as I love Habstrakt, and this new release is no exception. “Free” captures everything I love about late-1990s Detroit house and UK garage; from the burbling synths to the heavy Reese bass-fueled intro and breakdowns that provide just the right amount of push and pull to keep a crowd moving even during the less climactic parts of the song. However, Habstrakt (never satisfied with just a good throwback track) adds a grimy element and some subtle trap flare to create something new and entirely amazing (you can see an excellent example of what I mean in his 2019 release “De La Street” where he takes classic garage and jackin’ house and flips them on their heads).
The track begins with a gorgeous and powerful vocal sample set over a brooding Reese bassline that immediately sets the dark and epic tone of the track. Shortly thereafter, it is joined by a shuffling groove and strings, which can only be described as truly cinematic, as the track swells into a build. Just when you think you can’t take the tension anymore, the track explodes into one of the grimiest drops I have ever heard. To be honest, I can’t help but dance as I am writing this. The percussion is crisp and grooving, the bassline growls out of your speakers, and ear candy dances in and out of the track, keeping you on your toes and bouncing the whole way through. I can’t even be disappointed when it ends, as a horn-fueled trap breakdown takes its place and keeps the energy going. This breakdown segues so cleanly into the next house drop that I’m tempted to reach out and ask exactly what Faustian deal he had to make to be able to so perfectly craft a cross-genre banger like this.
This track is straight heat from start to finish and I’m sure you’re going to love it. If you’re anything like me, you’ll be playing it on repeat as you work late into the night, or perhaps, if you’re just a little more fun, you’ll be playing it on repeat as you rage until dawn.
“Free” is out now on NGHTMRE & Slander’s Gud Vibrations record label.