A lot of Happa’s press coverage focuses on his slightly younger years compared to other members of the British electronic music scene, highlighted more for the mature and uncompromising music he makes rather than the airy house of his teen contemporaries. But I’m going to dispense of wanky phrases like ‘wunderkind’ and ‘child prodigy’ that are just so tempting and just say this- Happa is a guy that makes banging tunes.
The Leeds producer meandered from the inevitable dubstep of his first few releases into a brand of techno reminiscent of Blawan, a harsh yet very danceable percussive style rapidly picking up momentum. It seems to draw from the sonic pallete of techno’s darker end, but applies the sound with a distinctly contemporary British sensibility, with buildups, drops, fast rhythmic progressions, chopped melodic vocals etc in the place of uncompromising repetition and simplicity. 90’s Berlin though 00’s London as it were.
Perhaps due to the length and source material, but this remix almost feels like two songs sewn together, as if drawn from some preternaturally talented DJ’s set. Moving from the pounding drums of the first half into the floating vocals of the second, you’re reminded of artists like Jamie XX and 123Mrk et al in the way they process vocals and phrase songs. This isn’t a bad thing however- more simply Happa throwing away genre conventions to sculpt a great track from his signature roiling distortion.
– Bertie Jennings