Coming off an incredible summer of hype with appearances at Electric Zoo New York, Hard Summer Los Angeles, and almost every major club in Ibiza, Gorgon City somehow managed to also drop their first Essential Mix all while finishing their debut album Sirens. For some, such a tall order of tasks might have been daunting, but Kai and Matt have taken 2014 by storm, proving that two heads are better than one.
Sirens begins with “Coming Home,” a track that sounds like it fits in the middle of a set at someone’s rooftop party in Williamsburg instead of at the beginning of a UK powerhouse’s first album. But “Coming Home” sets the perfect tone for the album – it’s a track equally fitting for lazy Sunday or a grimy warehouse at 4am.
Not all tracks are brand new; many will be happy to hear songs like “Ready For Your Love.” This song was a massive hit at the start of 2014, as many were introduced to the incredible vocals of 17-year old MNEK. In fact, all vocalists on Sirens help shape Gorgon City’s signature sound: posh vocals muddied up by filthy bass lines. Case in point: “Here for You.”
“FTPA” singlehandedly proves why this album was called Sirens. “Fuck the Pain Away” is very sensual, drawing on the low-key, yet enticing vocals of Erik Hassle. Like many tracks on the album, “FTPA” draws on traditional elements of 90s house and R&B that have been revived in UK house records over the past years. “Go All Night” with Jennifer Hudson nails those soulful piano introductory chords reminiscent of hits like Real McCoy’s “Another Night” or even “Good Vibrations” (Yes, I went there. Judge me.).
The best part of Sirens might be the familiarity of all the tracks. Gorgon City fans will appreciate hearing “Unmissable”, “Real,” and “Imagination,” songs that are already in heavy rotation on SoundCloud. “Unmissable” spawned remixes from ANNA, Huxley, and others before being released on the album. Not to mention, peppering them amongst original records helps Gorgon City achieve the same goal they aim for in their sets, a down-to-earth vibe that allows the listener to focus in on the music with minimal distractions.
Sirens also includes two “stripped down” creations, “Hard on Me” and a reprisal of “Here for You.” There seems to be a rising trend of producers who also release a live version of their favorite songs. A lot of times we forget that these artists are not just proficient with digital productions, but are people who have mastered multiple instruments, capable of creating more complex live arrangements of their songs. Overall, Sirens is a strong debut album from Gorgon City. Their strength continues to lie in their rich bass lines and proper choice of vocal talent.