Dutch producer Shook will be a familiar name to lots of you. We first came across him via a remix of Electric Youth’s ‘Replay‘ some four years ago – that remix was a hard hitting slice of electro funk mixing pop vocals with flexing basslines and scorching hooks. Ever since we’ve posted every track he’s produced and his latest album Spectrum is by far his best work to date.
Personally, I’ve always liked Shook’s electro stuff more than the jazz-fusion stuff – but with Spectrum it’s finally clicked, I’ve finally begun to appreciate Shook’s innate ability at crafting intricate, never-ending melodies – and once you do too you’ll come to realise that anyone can make good electro but only very few people can create what Shook has with Spectrum.
Stand-out tracks aren’t hard to come by, the album’s opener is a obvious candidate. Those never-ending melodies we mentioned, they’re here and in full song as the dutch producer weaves as complex tapestry glistening strings, plump keys and strumming basslines. Those of you looking for Shook-the-electro-dude are, sadly, going to be disappointed as ‘Spectrum’ just isn’t that sort of an album. Maybe, one day, he’ll return to the more club-based music, but for now you’ll just have to put up with delicate and considered rather than aggressive and French. But that’s not a problem as you’ll also have the bone-achingly beautiful ‘Violet Hues‘ to console you in your hour of need.
Elsewhere, the album hits its stride with ‘New Horizons‘ which his probably the closest you’re going to get to old Shook. And to a degree ‘Eye of The Storm‘ continues the brisker tempos with a psychedelic cut of fretting disco backed by a freestyle melody that just keeps on giving. The album’s centre-piece though is the final track ‘Milestones‘, which, according the producer, is the most complex track he’s ever undertaken, and it shows. ‘Milestones‘ is the money-shot, the pièce de résistance, the holy grail. It actually proves he was right to move on from electro, too. It’s the culmination of all of Shook’s musical endeavours and it’s just a glorious way to finish off the album.
What’ll happen to Shook in the coming years is a bit of a mystery, for the four years we’ve been following him, he hasn’t really followed the path usually set out for up-and-coming producers. He works to his own beat, and that’s ultimately why he’s so successful, only he really knows where he’s going but so far his comicbook-inspired persona has seen him create a legion of fans who are willing to back him all the way – so in reality he’s already won.
HBF Rating 5/5