Konrad Black & Art Department – Graveyard Tan (Version 2)
Art Department’s infectious house releases meant they were the underground scene equivalent of Orlando Magic with peak Shaq x Penny Hardaway of the early 2010s. Had you entered an one of Hackney’s hot spots in summer of 2011 you would have found the crowd singing along to the lyrics of “Without You”. On Graveyard Tan they collaborate with the versatile Canadian producer Konrad Black. The track, released in 2012 on the No.19 Music label, is so thumping your neighbours’ cousin will be asking for the Track ID. The artists synergism results in a cutting-edge release. The preeminence of a thundering bassline combined with raw synthesiser sound conceives a firecracker.
An established sub bass creates a ground for a romper only 30 seconds in. Konrad Black is an expert in creating energy, as heard in his banger ‘Devastator‘. The low end synth (later adopted by the current Future House releases) adds an edge to the track’s succulent composition. It breathes energy like Ruby Rhod in the ‘Fifth Element’. The vibes of the track always feel pulsating throughout, like a Japanese national railway train that’s late. The short vocal sample saying ‘Baby’ fits perfectly here. Its supporting role elevates the salacity of the overarching sound. The record’s artwork, after all, features two snakes – so there is an undeniable sense of seduction involved.
The second half of this banger is what separates the casual listener from the heads. A stretched out, high pitched synth stumbles its way around like a girl attempting to get her sixth Jägerbomb shot in a club. It shares similarity with the Jamie Jones remix of Azari & III’s ‘Hungry For The Power’ classic. Unashamedly trippy, it makes a sturdy statement. What may sound like a fitful key progression at first, actually increments the song. The ethos and spirit of this track is to conquer the underground airwaves.