SOUTH London’s Oliver Jones has came a long way since producing ‘Midnight Request Line’, arguably one of the most iconic dubstep tracks ever. Despite his adventures DJing alongside Benga around the world, and especially heavily during the EDM boom in the United States, he felt that he wasn’t headed in the right direction artistically. For the past couple of years, Jones has ditched dubstep for disco, and eventually for house and techno.
His disco collaboration with Sam Frank was widely received, and Skream carried on experimenting with different styles, often sharing them on SoundCloud despite being unsigned.
The thing is that a lot of his melodic techno tracks, one of which being ‘Still Lemonade’, sounded like they were made with cheap synths and unmixed drums. Fair enough, though, as these were unsigned and just shared with the public for feedback. It had seemed that Skream was headed in the right direction musically.
However, Crosstown Rebels has since released the tune, and the lack of proper polishing still leaves a bad taste in the mouth of critics such as Andrew Ryce. The Redshape remix makes for more of a big-room techno banger, despite the added brass instrument melody often associated with the mellow dance music popular amongst Innervisions DJs and Ten Walls.
Skream has been under fire for using disco loops for his remix of Duke Dumont, and hearing the lack of quality in sound design could lead some to believe that he’s ditched loops for a more authentic approach, which he hasn’t exactly mastered yet.
That being said, hearing ‘Still Lemonade’ played out by Skream at one of his XOYO shows in London is an indescribable experience.
Whether it’s a mixture of pills and sweat, the epic breakdown of the song, or just the simple joy of hearing the track played again after the last time he played it, the crowd loves it and doesn’t exactly care for the texture of the sounds because the melody overshadows it.
At the end of the day, Oliver Jones is a crowd pleaser, but it’s good that he doesn’t think he has to stick to EDM for that. Whether or not he’s hopping onto the 4/4 bandwagon for commercial purposes, his writing ability portrays a genuine fascination with this refined style of music, and it’s only a matter of time before we see how he really fares as an artist.