REVIEW: Hard Mix – Defaults

Last year, the brilliant Hard Mix impressed with the track “Memories’, that thankfully appears again on this album, Defaults, a collection of 10 killer experimental electro tracks. Based off the quality of “Memories” it was an enticing proposition of a record to start with but, what’s even better is, the whole album (Download Link below) is free.

Opening with “The Ones We Read” that begins sounding like Hard Mix himself is flicking through various channels, perhaps of his inner-psyche it soon settles on an bizarre, static-filled interview. That itself quickly morphs into a track based around a melodic piano part but drenched and consumed in an electronic foreboding with alluring reverse-vocals. There is a sense of relief and positivity in the latter half of the song that carries over into “Now Her”, a pulsing and upbeat track that likewise lovingly samples a similarly grainy interview.

One of the album’s best qualities is the flow, Hard Mix has definitely constructed a very cohesive entity that will simply become one as you listen. Not in a forgetful, off the cuff way though, as although each track is distinct, each has a definitive place in the track-listing. The songs that follow each work well off each other, even if a track like the great “For Me” has a much darker undertone than some of the songs that surround it.

“Memories” is of course one of the album’s highlights, still sounding as fresh as ever. “I’m Gone” sounds full of temptation and despair, like an elusive lover has yet again slipped through your fingers. “Fell Off Somewhere” has the listener beamed through the oldest and wisest teleportation device, a song full of transcendent sounds. “Bright Eyed Child” is the kind of euphoric anthem you’d want to hear in the happiest moments of your life. Not even it’s nonsensical vocals could dampen your spirits.

It is however “1997″, the closing track of the album, which is undoubtedly the highlight. It makes me feel like I’m back in 1997, with this magically nostalgia-inducing drum pattern coupled with the sampled voices of children. I don’t think any other piece of music has made me feel this young again, made me yearn for that simplicity of youth. To quote Gretchen from the film Donnie Darko, “What if you could go back in time, and take all those hours of pain and darkness and replace them with something better?” – “1997″ is the closest you’ll get to doing this.

Hard Mix’s Defaults is an addictive piece of work, an album that will fill you with a spectrum of different emotion. It receives a very serious recommendation from the blog, undoubtedly one of the year’s best so far. Check out two track below and follow the bottom link to get the whole album, yes, for free.

DOWNLOAD MP3S: 1997 + Bright Eyed Child
Get the Whole Album here! (Facebook integration required)