When it comes to the art of music, relevancy is key. It’s those with an intuitive sense of trends – when to capitalise on them, and when to let them pass by – that really cultivate careers of longevity. Diplo, Skrillex, A-Trak – all excellent living examples of such a philosophy, and household names from decades passed still to this very day. In an industry where the difference between becoming phenomenal success or a dull roar can all come down to an artists ability to curate not only a setlist, but the very sounds that make up their productions, committing to a single career-long aesthetic can be considered just as equally brave is it may be stupid. So it is even more the anomaly then, that we find the collaborative culmination of Ben Böhmer & Monolink in the year 2019 still iterating on an aesthetic initially pioneered by two German producers years ago.
It’s with this logic that we find the second track from the Berlin-based producer’s debut album, ‘Black Hole’, a cinematic and brooding house anthem with just enough light pop tendencies to remain accessible to all but the most diehard of each camp. And it’s therein that lies the duality of ‘Black Hole’s identity. A first listen will draw the ear to the unidentifiable found-sound percussion, detuned brass leads and long-throwing reverb that fill the stereo-field, relaying a sense of melancholic detachment and longing typical of the melodic-house genre, just as subsequent listens reveal the true pop tropes in the form of Böhmer’s ear-burying melodies, Monolink’s singalong choruses, and the conventional EDM ‘build-drop’ structure of the track overall.
The true sleight of hand here, is that the former only provides just a superficial edge to a track that is really fundamentally held together by the latter. It’s a chart-topping single masquerading as a risque underground anthem, but as to wether this may have been the intention all along is something left up to the listener’s own taste. It doesn’t particularly pose to innovate or dive into either side of the coin with reckless abandon, but as a result is a good time all the same, and ff the forty million-something worldwide streams and numerous support from the likes of Pete Tong and Annie Mac have anything to say, its that if it ain’t broke – don’t fix it.