Album Review: Human – Nitepunk

In the current landscape of mainstream electronic dance music, not too many artists can stake the claim of having a distinctly unique sound, but the Georgian-born producer Nitepunk has firmly solidified himself as an outlier to the norm. Although he certainly has his clear share of influences on his sound—Noisia, The Prodigy, and Moody Good are a few artists that come to mind—he brings those inspirations together in a way that sets him apart from his contemporaries.

It hasn’t always been this way, however. Nitepunk made his name more widely known five years ago through the brostep and riddim circuit. At this time he was still finding his voice but ended up landing releases on prime labels such as Circus, Never Say Die, and Disciple. However, a few songs from that time period showcased that he had sights beyond this niche scene, with songs such as “Bound 80” and “Mad Beats” just as indebted to old-school rave classics as they were to more aggressive dubstep. Never Say Die noticed this in 2020 and released his debut EP Red Turbulence, which further explored that fusion of styles, particularly on opener “Absolute Zero.”

After two-and-a-half years of anticipation and a whole swath of remixes and singles (eight of which appear on this album), his debut LP Human has finally arrived. The album kicks things off with “Grounded,” a turbulent, high-energy opener that serves as a perfect continuation and evolution of his sound from Red Turbulence. The energy levels remain high throughout the next several songs, including on standout “I Know That You Know,” a collaboration with the now-defunct duo X&G.

However, the album format in electronic music is ideally utilized as a way for artists to wade into previously uncharted territory, and Nitepunk certainly embraces that philosophy on Human, with mostly positive results. Following “Miracle,” Nitepunk adds an interlude in the form of “Move Ahead,” an atmospheric beat that signifies the direction the remainder of the album will go. He fleshes out this direction on the next track, “Nephilim’s Drama,” a fantastic change of pace that utilizes an electric guitar in a way that recalls past works of Jesse Slayter. The remainder of the album continues on a more somber, R&B-influenced note and Nitepunk illustrates through the last five songs that he’s just as capable with this style as anything else he’s done. Not all of the experiments he attempted on Human landed, unfortunately. The album’s only weak point is “Point,” a collaboration with Habstrakt, an artist whose catalog shows that he’s capable of switching things up at times. However, their collaboration leans on the standard bass house style Habstrakt is widely known for which feels a bit out of place here.

 Although creating a full-length LP that balances cohesion with experimentation in EDM can be a tricky act to balance, Nitepunk clearly had a vision with Human and executed it wonderfully. This is one of the strongest debut albums to come out of this scene in recent years.

Follow Nitepunk on Spotify.

%d bloggers like this: