Various Artists - Black, mixed by Nik Fish
Fri 4th Sep, 2009 Music Reviews 1664 viewsin
Do you remember that old episode of The Simpsons where Bart has a history test coming up? He prays for snow to cancel school, gets it, then reluctantly spends the whole day locked in the basement studying. He does the test and still fails. He sits there, clutching the failed test in his hands, and begins to sob. “You don’t understand! I tried this time, I really tried!!” he cries. Reviewing this CD was a bit like that episode. I put it off, I tried to hide it, I even tried to outsource it to some friends who I thought liked hardstyle. They laughed at me. Seriously, when I brought it up they actually laughed in my face. So there was nothing else for me to do except lock myself up with the CD and just do it. And it was tough.
I used to like hard trance back in the day, with artists such as Scot Project, Derb, Kai Tracid etc being favourites of mine. I actually have a couple of Nik Fish CDs, and saw him dj at Bubble in Melbourne back in around 2001 and 2002. That’s why I decided to give this one a go. And I tried. I really tried. For the sake of my memories, I tried to give this CD a fair appraisal. But I just don’t get it. I don’t really get how people really, honestly, enjoy this kind of stuff without being under the influence of, well… something! It’s just so hard, so fast, so obvious, so in your face, so cheesy and so serious at the same time. At least when I did the Nick Skitz review, you could tell that there was an element of humour, of fun, it knew exactly what it was and who it was catering for. But this is different. The art, the photography, the bio, it’s all so up itself. That’s before you even get to the music! The intros tell you how good Nik Fish is, how glad and appreciative you should be for listening to it. “It’s as if god created the devil and gave him DJ Nik Fish”. I mean, come on!
There are some decent tracks in there though, Add More Balls by DJ Choose stands out as some nice rocking techno and, well, I think that’s just about it. The rest is basically variations of kazoo/super saws and banging a cricket bat against some corrugated iron. Tracks like Unite by Cone again take the deep and meaningful approach with the spoken sample about Melbourne shuffling and taking the bass as our motherfucking guide. Some tunes like Echoes have nice melodies but are ruined by stupid samples, some tunes have nice acid but the rest is noise, some tunes have nice tough percussion but are ruined by everything else! The mixing is good, quite a few nice transitions but I guess I don’t really have much else to say. It hasn’t converted me to hardstyle, I’m not sure it would anyone else. Even friends who like hardstyle don’t even like this. People currently fans of Nik Fish I’m sure would dig it but for anyone else? Well I tried, I really tried, but I think I still failed.