After a quick jaunt through several other hot labels—such as Night Bass, This Ain’t Bristol, and Audiophile—Helsinki talent NiQW has returned to Box of Cats to drop a beastly new EP, Intro. He’s ever pushing his unique sound and style while taking his top-notch producing skills with him, and this is just the next chapter in an already captivating book. And the flipside to the title track, “How’s That,” is a prime example.
Pounding in with a stripped-down beat, the immediately noticeable thing about this number is how thick and tight the drums sound. Normally, producers achieve this by cranking up compression, but none of the thinly crunched negatives of that technique appear here. Whatever the secret may be, an equally rich bassline stabs in, along with some choice vocal samples and breezy pads to forge some body-moving low-end tech house.
The whole track stays bare-boned yet still crackling with energy. From quick, rhythmic shuffles to bringing in sounds at seemingly just the right moment, NiQW keeps the dynamic fresh. And without spoiling anything, the third act of “How’s That” goes absolutely mental. This track is equal parts excellent production and dancefloor appeal. It’s a solid win for Box of Cats.
Available August 9 via Box of Cats.