Album Review: Relationships – Nick Hook

After more than ten years in the game as an instrumentalist, producer, DJ, audio-engineer and vibe-provider, Nick Hook has released his debut album Relationships. During which time he has been stacking production and collaboration credits on Young Thug, Azealia Banks, A$AP Ferg, Baauer, Machinedrum and many more. This guy produced “Old English”. Any questions? His 16 track album mirrors that variety and finesse from start to finish.

From the literally ground-shaking “Pro-Choice”, which channels Mike Will Made-It’s Ransom mixtape, to his Novelist collaboration “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” – which made me bounce around like wild – Hook makes very clear where this hour of music is going to take you: anywhere. Yet however many places he takes you, it’s always clear where you are.

A-Trak’s Fool’s Gold have put their faith in Hook since he was signed as a part of the band Cubic Zirconia. The label has long proven their excellent taste in music and drive to move post-genre, having signed and released fellow beat-wobblers and musicians Ta-ku, RL Grime, Salva, Giraffage, Duck Sauce, Danny Brown, Malaa and Anna Lunoe. Now they have the pleasure of releasing this beast of an album.

Virtually every track on the LP is a collaborative effort. Hook recorded all of the songs at his very own studio in Brooklyn – which is fairly rare in an era where most collaborations come about via E-Mail. The array of accomplices includes Hudson Mohawke, iLoveMakonnen, 21 Savage, Novelist, Spank Rock and DJ Rashad, who tragically passed away in 2014.

There’s everything you could wish for on this LP. Hard-hitting 808’s and basslines that might actually damage the structure of your house – they probably won’t, but I’d rather have warned you – drums and percussion to die for, some of the cleverest voice- and chord-sampling I have ever heard, dreamy choruses and even stadium-worthy guitar riffs. “Forever” might be my all-time-favourite skit, too. If I had to choose, my personal picks would be “Pro-Choice”, “Dive For You” and “Can’t Tell Me Nothing”, though this album as a whole is just unfuckwitable – and I mean that in the best way possible.

The ride concludes in the 19 minutes long “The Infinite Loop”. After an amazingly arranged 7 and a half minutes of music, followed by 8 minutes of complete silence, the track ends with some words about Hook’s calendar – this might sound strange, but have a listen for yourselves. The LP ends with a spacebar-click.

Whether you’re a musician yourself or just love music, you absolutely need to listen to this album. It’s a true artists’ piece, which is becoming more and more rare in the future-bass-trap-deep-house-step era.

I also beg you to listen to this album as a whole and on a proper system or at least very decent headphones. But now without further ado, in the words of Nick: “Put your phone down and dive in.”

Listen to Relationships here, and follow Nick on Soundcloud. 

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