Music producer Jason Miller from Detroit, Michigan, uses the word “cathartic” – meaning providing psychological relief through the open expression of strong emotions – to describe his music and work. “Poundtown” his latest 11 track album release features various styles, from dubstep to house, trap, riddim, and future bass. This should go down as one of the best themed albums in the electronic / dance genre, in other words – consecutive play start to finish. In fact, it is almost a shame if you ever need to pause or (heaven forbid) stop mid-track. Whether you are making out on the dance-floor, driving for hours, working out, or simply chilling on a Jamaican beach with your best headphones on and a tall, frozen beverage staring out over a white-sanded beach as the sun slowly sets in the evening, you will lose all sense of time with this all-genre embracing recording.
Whether you dig 4-to-the-floor percussively pumping tracks, or melodic vocal songs, Jason Miller obliges with a full pack of EDM surprises. He opens the album with the exquisitely sung and edgy mid-tempo track “Fly Away”, and you can quickly gauge his affinity with bass dominated arrangements.
If the ever-evolving and slamming “Candy” doesn’t give your soul a little bounce when you throw it on then find a new genre of music to listen to. “Around You” is another slow vocal teaser, that transforms itself into an upbeat thumping rhythm, while the title track “Poundtown” forges fully layered growling synths and a banging beat that will murder your speakers.
The rhythmic bounce and bass thunder may form the backbone of this album, but multiple injections of melody – or via synths or via vocals provide “Poundtown” with a twist that crowds will relish. “This Cannot Continue” mixes a spiraling bass and synth wave with quick-hitting drums and medieval-type chants that will leave listeners stuck in an avalanche of sound, unaware which direction is up and which leads to eventual doom.
On “Pistol Nebula”, the mix contorts the slowed-down screaming synth tones with the drum and bass crescendo. And all of this instantly turns into a varied-tempo dubsteb growl on “Another One”, which becomes devastatingly tense on “Back At ‘Em”.
“Bang” again allows Jason Miller to bring a variety of sounds, samples and rhythms all into one song. And things just get better with “Stacks” and the epic “Supergiant”, while “Heat Death” almost has a classic music structure, a riddim beat, and layers of strings.
Miller knows exactly what moments to bring in a beat, change the melody, and then tease listeners with an explosive rise, then followed by yet another massive drop. Electronic dance music has a bit of an odd place in the world of popular music. Producers have a tendency to create a single that unexpectedly becomes massive and then work to recreate that style from then on.
This is not what Jason Miller does, as he is far from the pop-orientated stereotyped chart-busting producers out there. His style is all over the place as he pushes boundaries and melds his beats. In the grand scheme of the album, it feels like he’s trying to build a new sound for himself, still electronic, still danceable and relatable, but not downright, sellout pop.