Fennec – “Hemlock Groove”
Does anyone else remember Jet Set Radio? It was that awesome Dreamcast game from 2000 that featured cel-shaded graffiti artists and a killer soundtrack with the likes of Guitar Vader, Jurassic 5, Hideki Naganuma, and a bunch of other great producers that meshed high-energy sampling with hip-hop percussion. Well, if they ever decide to reboot that video game franchise, then Fennec would be a perfect fit for the new soundtrack. The electronic producer ranks with the best of them in this department, with his colorful sound infusing perfectly-placed samples with vibrant synth-laden arrangements, reflective of a futuristic neon city with their intense pace and variety of tones.
Fennec’s new album, Let Your Heart Break, was just released this month. According to Fennec, the release was “inspired by depression, my longtime girlfriend and I breaking up, and a car accident.” Despite the melancholic roots, the release resembles a party more often than not. There are bursts of brilliantly precise excitement, ranging from the infusion of multi-cultural rapping samples on “Hemlock Groove” to the house-inspired fuzz of “Woke Up Feeling Disconnected”, whose nighttime synths and hypnotic vocal samples would make Daft Punk and Avalanches proud.
In case you’re wondering, is project name coming from oh-so-adorable fennec foxes, as addressed in the intro of “Hemlock Groove”. You can read more about Fennec’s back-story in his interview with WIUX. I strongly recommend listening to the entirety of Let Your Heart Break, which you can stream below or purchase on Bandcamp: