Waves Take Control

by Nick J. Smith

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about

Humid, exotic and intoxicating are not words you’d readily associate with Leeds. Yet the Yorkshire city is home to some serious Balearic talent, not least the Clandestino crew. For proof, check the effortlessly melodious and glassy-eyed trio of tracks on Waves Take Control, a rare solo outing from Nick J Smith, one of the three DJ/producers behind the Clandestino parties and label.

Like his Clandestino compatriots Joe Morris and Iain Mac, Smith has been involved in Leeds’ underground disco and Balearic scenes for well over 15 years. Alongside Morris, he’s released a string of warm, loved-up tracks on Nein, Join Our Club, Is It Balearic and, of course, Clandestino Records. However, this three-track outing on NuNorthern Soul is only Smith’s second solo release under his given name, and his first for almost three years.

Not that you’d know it given the quality of the music on show. Waves Take Control is exceptionally loved-up from start to finish, with Smith layering intensely colourful, new age-influenced synthesizer melodies and vibrant chords above grooves so tactile you just want to give them a big hug.

The Yorkshireman begins with the gentle tropical breeze of “Palm Cove”, where sun-kissed electronics, humid motifs and blissful lead lines shuffle above languid drum machine beats and hazy field recordings. Smith’s love of marimba style synthesizer motifs comes to the fore on the similarly sticky “Tribal Elder”, a lush and lavish excursion rich in fluttering panpipe melodies, polyrhythmic synth-bass, hypnotic beats and orange-hued sunset intent.

Arguably most impactful of all, though, is sublime closing cut “Waves Take Hold”, a kaleidoscopic, life-affirming exercise in late 1980s style Italian Dream House that’s so warm and rush-inducing that it’s likely to get the hairs on the back of your next standing to attention. Full of ricocheting drum machine hits, sun-bright lead lines, elongated chords and rich bass, it sounds like it was tailor-made to soundtrack sunrise in Rimini rather than Roundhay, Horsforth or Hyde Park.

credits

released July 12, 2019

Written and produced by Nick J Smith
Mastered by Robin Lee

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NuNorthern Soul Eivissa, Spain

NuNortherns Soul has been running events since 1996, the label, which was formed in 2012, is about presenting a rich tapestry of music, not restricted by genre or production techniques, it is not a Soul music label, but a label for music WITH Soul.

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