NextUp turns its head towards one of the most innovative musical cities in the world – Detroit. The birthplace of techno back in the late 80s and early 90s, Detroit was a hotbed of underground talent. Amongst this talent was the formidable collective, Underground Resistance. Whilst predominantly a techno outfit, member Gerald Mitchell’s ‘Hardlife’ presents us with a classic high energy, head boppin’ house banger that competes with the best of the Chicago classics.
For any producer, in ‘Hardlife’ Mitchell offers a valuable lesson in how simplicity and layering can sometimes be all that is needed to make a damn good track. Beginning with the smoothest and catchiest of piano loops, ‘Hardlife’ builds brilliantly with slickly interwoven high hats, solid snare stabs and a strong supportive bassline. Those pianos chords are the real killer element here though, and with the introduction of a more than satisfying bass kick, the track takes off. With that crazy good vocal (‘Harrrdliiiife’) as well, ‘Hardlife’ easily makes it into the top tiers of my favourite house tracks. Enjoy.
– Calum Carey