A 25 year old university student, The Mongrel is a new music producer from Slovakia, who says he ‘accidentally’ fell in love with his craft watching a video of Martin Garrix creating a live song on radio. He has since applied himself to learning the craft of electronic music production, which he admits is more difficult than he thought at first. He The Mongrel has since managed however to put together his most challenging piece of work to date – “Mixed Breed” – within 6 months. I’m not the biggest fan of electronic music to be honest. I’ve always loved playing guitar, so my preferences towards music with guitars will always remain at the foremost of my music listening. However, there are a few electronic music artists that have impressed me over the years. Aside from the older drum and bass artists, I’m not overly keen on the new breed of dnb.
However, The Mongrel certainly left an impression on me with his debut album release – “Mixed Breed”. Rather than go into extravagant detail about particular tracks, I’ll keep things clear and concise with a more generalized overview of the album. It’s an 11 track album with a few other EDM flavors thrown into the mix besides dnb.
One of the main things which makes “Mixed Breed” so good is the amazing production quality. Pristine and polished, The Mongrel has managed to make every beat, every bassline, and every melody hook sound soulful and soaring. This is quite upbeat dnb for the most part so don’t expect slow and melancholy beats.
There are excellent use of epic synth features on a variety of tracks too, such as the wonderfully melodic “Ascension” and the stirring “No More War”. Album opener “Alert” is probably the best example of how slick and sublime The Mongrel manifests his rhythms and melodies – again, the production simply heightens everything to a totally new level.
I particularly enjoy the rich syncopated melodies on tracks such as “Frozen” and “Eastern Violin”. More complex melodies are present on “Primavera”, and “The Lights”, which incorporates uplifting vocal interludes, but despite them being more intricate the tracks are catchy nonetheless. That is the real beauty of the songs present on this album – they are diverse and interesting musically but they remain as catchy as hell.
Of all the genres that found popularity in the EDM age, drum and bass seems like the most under-appreciated. While a number of top notch producers keep the scene going strong, the forward thinking genre tends to be overlooked by all but the purest of electronic music fans.
But artists like The Mongrel crafts expertly produced breakbeats that serve as the power behind uplifting drum and bass tunes that will definitely keep fans interested in the genre. The use of clever arrangements and soaring, instrumentation brings an exciting element to the frantically paced drum excursions, as The Mongrel manages to create a cohesive sounding album that holds together as a singular work.
In an era where most producers struggle to even justify the lengths of their EPs, The Mongrel manages to conjure up the magic of the full-length album format on “Mixed Breed” while delivering a memorable record that’s heavy on tunes!