Track Review

Haquin – Congested ft. Santino & Elouise

Changing the rules with creativity

Here’s something for those of you who won’t be satisfied with strict patterns or linear structures within a song. Constantly changing, the new track of Nicolas Haquin gives you a hint what creativity is about.

When I listened to this track the first time, I realized right away that the Leeds based musician is searching. He’s searching for that unique sound, for soundscapes never heard before, for the unusual and the unexpected within sound and rhythm. There’s not a second of music in “Congested” where you get bored by a linear track pattern. As soon as you figured out a certain track or effect, melody or percussion, Haquin changes the rules again. Normally this would disturb the flow and even make the track so restless you would instantly change to the next track, but in this case those changes are made very sensitive in order NOT to destroy the flow. Turns out this really works out. I was attracted to that reversed sample at the intro which created that “where does he want to go with THAT?” feeling. Haquin then builds an wide reverbed atmosphere around that sample, even adding some oriental tunes and sort of white noise and percussion to it. What tops all that are the vocals of rapper Santino Luca Browne and the singing of Elouise McCracken. Those two are giving the track what I like to call the “Café del Mar feeling”. Sort of floating on a wave, but with a destination. Smooth and down to earth, but constantly in motion.

Speaking of the mix, I think the instrumental part sometimes is too much parted from the vocals, there seem to be like small “gaps” in the final mix where the music feels detached from the vocals. Although this might be a wanted effect, I think an additional sub bass or something would have glued those tracks back together. Besides that, this track sounds great over headphones. Of course, it also would fit in almost any setting you like, be it a bar or late night driving through empty streets.

I like that Haquin hasn’t decided where to go yet. Music needs to have those “free agents”. Maybe this constant evolving is his essence of being a musician, maybe one day he’ll just decide to go for a specific genre, who knows. Right now you have a variety of sounds, tracks and genres to choose from on  his soundcloud account.


Florian Maier

CEO/Producer at kings mountain studios (kms). Drummer. Sound explorer. Music enthusiast. Critic. Writer. Husband. Father. All stacked up in 1.88 m, 80 kg.

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