It’s funky. It’s impassioned. It’s unique. It defies genres. It’s The Human Element.
Earlier in the summer I had the pleasure of reviewing the single Heads Without Hearts from R@S‘ upcoming EP The Human Element. The EP has finally been released and, as expected, it does not disappoint. Following the same formula of Heads Without Hearts with its soulful electro and hip hoppy vibes, The Human Element takes its listeners on a journey through time, back to when passion was still felt in every note of every song.
The first track, Laid on Wax, brings in elements of hip hop fused with electro synths to create a funky tune that is easy to groove to. The vocals, typical of R@S‘ signature style, are minimal yet intricately woven throughout the track. This is an easy song to close your eyes and just get lost in the beats. If you love Pretty Lights, you’ll be sure to appreciate Laid on Wax.
Next is Free State, which is a little more melancholy. This ambient track, in its beautiful rawness, evokes a dismal feeling showcasing the power of music. Its sound is slightly reminiscent of the tracks that Porter Robinson has been debuting in his Worlds album.
Straight Ballin’ has a really unique sound for the electronic realm. The percussion is strong and almost seems to have a rock-influence, yet it introduces minute rapping throughout. It’s a harder sound than the previous two tracks, but still stylistically similar in terms of composition, minimal vocals, and easy grooves.
Heads Without Hearts is probably my favorite track from the EP, maybe because it was the first song I heard from the trio and it pleasantly took me by surprise, or maybe because it is truly a song that puts the soul and passion back into music. Either way, it’s definitely a track that appeals to the ears of many.
“Heads Without Hearts is a dedication to the rat race, the hustle to get uploaded, to become digital, to be more accessible, more connected, sacrificing heart and soul in the process. Since we started this project its been our mission to bring the humanity back to this music.” -R@S
Lastly is Watch Out, which is a little more jazzy than the rest of the EP. As the song progresses, the instrumentals play out a catchy melody and the groove continues to strengthen. Suddenly the vocals from Hall & Oates‘ Maneater infiltrate into the song, just adding to the overall flow of the track.
All in all, The Human Element is a fantastic EP. It is both stylistically different and skillfully composed, shining light on the true talent of these 3 artists from Philadelphia. I’d highly recommend checking them out and sharing their work to show your support for upcoming artists!
You can download the entire EP for free here, or you can make any donation if you really love it!