Animaux | UK

Review: Neana – NSWL020

Mar
11

Neana is no new kid to dance music, the youngster has been producing with his notorious crew for a couple of years and despite being a young kid in many people’s eyes, the lad has delivered as a DJ, producer and as a personality.

In November 2015 a documentary was released on him and his crew ‘Gang Fatale’ made up of big names like Trap Door and Ra Ra. Neana discuss their rise to prominence in dance music, the rise of tribe-tech and overall the viewer is astonished by how much a group of teens have achieved in such a short space of time. He started producing at 14 in Kendall in the lake district and eventually developed to create monster tunes like “Yeezus 2” “Hotel Vobez” and “42 Dunjunz”. He mentions how slowly time passes in his isolated village but he’s grateful for his rural upbringing as it influenced his early work radically. Neana recently released NSWL020, his second release on the London label Night Slugs who have signed people such as L-Vis 1990, Bok Bok and Jam City.

NSWL020 is a two-track EP with Neana’s own Nightshade and his remix of Bok Bok’s less well-known tune Foxtrot. Nightshade opens up as a relatively lo-fi and subtle tune with some really nice guitar sampling with some atmospheric texturing. The cover, a few deck chairs on a port by the sea is a great image which nicely symbolizes the vibes of the release, two tracks heavily influenced by central European techno and house with certain holiday-esque Italian or Spanish tones. The tune then at around 1:30 plunges into an absolutely filthy bass line. With a typically fast pace time signature and a tribal-esque bass line, this is nothing out of the ordinary for a Night Slugs release.

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After listening to Neana’s insane boiler room set god knows how many times, I realize this would not be out-of-place in one of his typically hard-hitting sets. This tune does lack the poppy, R&B and sometimes satirical sampling that we are used to hearing from Neana. The occasional Kanye line such as “STRAIGHT OUT THE SALON” or Three Six Mafia’s dirty vocal sample is chucked into his sets but this release has reduced tribe-tech to its roots: atmospheric, dark and almost atlantic backing with hard-hitting basslines and gorgeous snares. Neana’s Foxtrot remix deserves equally as much praise, it packs the bassey punch that Foxtrot so proudly delivers and in my opinion improves the original drums as well as having more interesting production. Overall a really impressive take on the genre from Neana and as the 12” sold out in a couple of days in late February I look forward to hearing more of him in the scene.

I’ve played Nightshade at a small block party and on a big sound system it sounds absolutely incredible, I prefer Nightshade due to its more creative sampling and original sound however for a remix Foxtrot is a highly impressive tune. Foxtrot was featured as a Boiler Room debut which came to my surprise, however after seeing Shamos’s tune “Ode to Lynch” and Commodo’s remix of Hi5Ghost’s “Nook Shot” I felt Boiler Room would deliver the goods for 2016, the year of the bleep. Neana has definitely made a name for himself over the past few months and this release has proved his competence as a producer which I am happy to see. Let’s hope Night Slugs deliver the goods on their next release, no doubt it will be a banger.

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