Essentials: “Fever” – Brasstracks

The latest effort by Brasstracks is evidence that a producer or artist does not have to utilize exclusively electronic sounds to create a masterpiece. Nor do artists need to religiously stick to well-established themes within a genre. Interweaving synth melodies and intricate drops is a trademark practice in electronic music’s Future Bass subgenre. However, Brasstracks goes against the grain by emphasizing orchestral instruments as the main focal point of its melodies — well in front of synths, basslines, and the beat. For example, “Fever” starts with a disjointed beat played on an acoustic drum kit. As the song wavers on, a distinct trumpet melody starts to blare over the beat, putting itself in the foreground. Drawing attention to orchestral sounds in an otherwise electronic song immediately distinguishes Brasstracks from other producers sharing the genre. When the song builds up before the drop, the airy atmosphere created by subtle bass and white noise gives a sense of suspense for listeners, signalling a major change in the direction of the song. Reminiscent of popular structuring from hip hop’s golden age (the 90s of course), the chorus breaks down into several harmonic layers: a hard-hitting barrage of trumpets, an organ in the background, a rhythmic bassline, and a brass section that may contain tuba and trombone elements. These components are laced seamlessly with a drum pattern that packs a punch in a jazzy groove. The outro transcends into an aural experience to calm the listener with piano and a sample loop that mimics an electric guitar theme revisited from the intro. Based on the instrumentation alone, “Fever” is the perfect addition to summer playlists that will be in heavy rotation.

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