Gorgon City are a North London production duo of Kye Gibbon and Matt Robson Scott.
“Sirens” is their debut album which features an array of guest vocalists.
I really enjoyed this album. In fact it was probably my favourite album of 2014 with a couple of tracks being my favourite from that particular year. As a house music lover and also a bit of a Soul boy I found that “Sirens” was able to bring together a sound that was just so far up my street it was knocking at the door.
The beginning track “Coming Home” features British singer Maverick Sabre. I have never been a massive fan of his vocal due to it suffering from the same problem as John Newman which is that this is not their real voice and a put on one to give them some sort of retro ‘edge’.
But the song is superb. It has a great hook and Sabre’s vocal although not substantially altered is give a little bit of subtle treatment which brings out a more honest sound which compliment the song’s lyrical content.
“Ready For Your Love” was probably the first big hit Gorgon City had. Even today in 2016 I hear it on the radio regularly. The vocal comes from English singer “MNEK” who continues strive for a stable solo career of his own. The trouble with MNEK is that he has the most unremarkable voice you will hear. It’s pleasant but it could be absolutely anyone and this song isn’t one that wins me over because of it’s vocal but the production on this track is absolutely stunning.
This is a bass banging club tune with a chorus that was always going to ensure it was a hit despite it’s moody tone.
“Lover Like You” features the fantastic sound of Katy B. I should point out that I love Katy B. For me she is the most genuine and creative sounding female singer in the UK at the moment. On her own album (which I will review at some point) she captures the sound of London and on this track with Gorgon City she still has that vocal delivery which I can relate to it’s tone and sonic simplicity.
“Here For You” features English singer Laura Welsh”. I am unaware of this particular singer. I am not sure her voice suits such a dance track and she does seem a little at ease until the chorus kicks in. The big bass sounds that Gorgon City are clearly basing their tracks around is evident again. Whilst I like the hook on this track it is not exactly an exciting song and soon becomes boring.
“FTPA” is a change of sound. It has a more trip hop influence through it’s beats. The vocal comes from Swedish singer songwriter Erik Hassle. Whilst there is an attempt at something other than the straight up house song with old school influence this track comes across as it was an off cut from The XX.
“Go All Night” features American Singer Songwriter and Actress Jenifer Hudson. Her voice has always been big and brilliant and she doesn’t disappoint on one of the albums real high points. This song is drenched in nostalgia with it sounding as if it was found on a compilation album from 1994. It doesn’t stretch itself very much and maybe I was expecting a little something else when it breaks down but overall “Go All Night” is a club banger and a brilliant listen. The song’s lyrics were written by Canadian Singer Songwriter Kiesza who you may know from her massive 2014 song “Hideaway”
“Unmissable” features the vocal from up and coming British singer Zak Able. This song was my second favourite song of 2014. I absolutely love this song. I could play it any time, anywhere and still not get bored of it. Everything about it agrees with me from the vocal, to the lyrics, to the hook and the verses. I feel no shame in saying that this song is Unmissable.
“Real” features British singer Yasmin. Her voice is a classic UK Dance/Garage voice. The songs sounds oddly similar at the very beginning to Kyle Minouges track “In Your Eyes” but that soon changes and we forget any such comparison!
Again whilst easy to listen to the song never really goes anywhere and the big bass useage just makes it sound like most of the other tracks on the album.
“Imagination” is next and this is utterly superb. Featuring unknown singer Katy Menditta this song brings together all the tricks Gorgon City have been using but they all sound in sync on this brilliant song. You will no doubt be singing the chorus after the first time you listen and “Imagination” is one of the real standouts on this set. Co written with British singer Emeli Sande.
“6am” features female Rapper/Singer Tish Hyman. She sounds uncannily like (male) Rapper Singer Akon. It is that African sounding voice that gives the song this unique sound than the other tracks on the album. It is probably the most distinguishable track on “Sirens” as it leans itself more towards post club music than an actual banner. The rap from Hyman is what the album required at this point and this is creatively as very solid track.
“Elevate” goes back to the more generic dance sound. The vocal comes from Anne Marie who was quite prominent on the latest Rudimental release “We The Generation”. She like Yasmin has that classic sounding British dance music voice. This song sadly is not that strong and perhaps in an isolated listen it will please but on an album with much stronger songs it just drifts into background.
“Take It All” features “The Six”. I have to be honest I have no idea who or what the six are but regardless this is another post club type song which has a real soulful production that I can’t help but enjoy. That’s a theme running through the album for me and that is automatic enjoyment I get from many of the tracks.
Maverick Sabre returns to close the album with “Hard On Me”. This is the one non dance song on the album. There are comparisons to be made with Rudimental on such a track with Sabre also using his voice in an almost Reggae style. Unlike a Rudimental track there is no drum and bass crescendo in it’s build up and the song leaves me feeling slightly cold by the end. A strange way to close such an album.
“Sirens” on the whole is a straight up dance music album which Gorgon City pull together their familiar production style and put it all on one set. Is there enough to distingish each song? I think there is. It isn’t as creative as say a ‘Disclosure’ album but then ‘Disclosure’ are the leaders at the moment in UK dance music.
I wonder if Gorgon City will release an album in 2016 or ever again. Was their goal to simply show off their production skills in a way of an audition to get work for other singers or are they looking for a career in Production/DJ albums like Rudimental and Disclosure.
Overall this album was highly enjoyable to me and whilst not for everyone this will remain on my rotation for a while yet.