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Album Review: Dirty South – With You

3 min read

Serbian/Australian DJ Dirty South has been producing music since the young age of 13, which was soon after his relocation to Melbourne; originally he fiddled with tape decks to create bootlegs and mash ups to create his surroundings-inspired sound, only to then upgrade his equipment and begin to produce his work as Dirty South in 2004. Initially he was known for producing one-off singles, which were often remixes, his 2006 remix of Evermore’s It’s Too Late topped the Australian Club Charts; ARIA award nominations led to Grammy nominations and DS has worked with the likes of DJ megastars David Guetta and Calvin Harris to name a couple, his debut full-length studio album Speed Of Life did not disappoint in 2013. Dirty South has dropped his sophomore studio album, With You, and we get to hear what it’s all about.

With You-Dirty SouthThe album’s opener Run Run Run features Southern Californian electronic duo Kids Without Instruments, it has a light and airy atmosphere with a feeling of content, a smooth and gentle way to ease us in; J Hart sings for the more beat savvy One Breath, which also doesn’t fall too close to the club pumping category of dance. DS sources some local vocal from fellow Melbournian Ruben Haze, his gritty delivery is ambient throughout the verse but really takes control in the chorus, the way the track fades out is the icing on the cake; Royelle’s contribution is untouchable in Freefallin’, the subtle yet prominent approach taken with this song is what makes it admirable. Tunnel Vision is communicated with such depth, the beat is heavier and the overall vibe is a deep and dark breath of air, SomeKindaWonderful’s high vocal gives the track dynamic to balance out its aura; the sun is seemingly rising as the more uplifting Walking On The Sun takes over, Rudy’s distortedly fuzzy vocal gives the track some warmth.

Kids Without Instruments feature again in The Best Days, it’s just as significant a number as their previous track, it’s much more powerful and gripping in the way the track transitions between its introduction and climaxing choruses; electronic/grunge group FMLYBND contribute to the track The Unknown, the progression from falsetto to the captivating belt really made the vocals all the more enticing, with the song’s overall production following a similar formula. Ruben Haze returns in the track Drifting, which is a more upbeat and atmospheric number; Rudy also makes a comeback in another light-hearted effort, Live Love Forever again shows the musical chemistry between the singer and Dirty South, the pair released a Beatport top-selling song in 2010 with Phazing. Title-track With You is FMLYBND’s second and final feature on the record, the track has a dreamy kind of a soundscape going on, the beat that kicks in later doesn’t overpower; closing-track Unbreakable features American singer Sam Martin, the song proves a more uplifting method to close an atmospheric dance record, it’s upbeat and a pleasure for the ears.

With You could be considered Dirty South’s ‘pot of gold’; it’s this atmospheric, breezy and pleasurable package of goods that really make the day just that little bit more bearable. It’s not your cliche dance music produced specifically for the heavy club scene, it’s a bit more deeper and special than that; you can visualise particular environments in which the songs could take place, you know an album has won you over when you have an all-round listening experience occurring as you play it. Each vocalist/group featured on With You were chosen for a clear and effective purpose, and that was to add that extra little bit of life to the record that Dirty South couldn’t do alone; without the artists chosen to contribute, it is very uncertain whether the album would be just as mint. Thank you Dirty South for a more easy going, enjoyable and approachable contribution to dance music.