• Impressive structural changes on the drops
• Emotional vocal unexpected, as per title
• Top-tier sounds, in line with Rave Culture
Ben Nicky wasn’t the name in the Rave Culture roster that caught my attention the most, which I must admit, since my preferences aren’t so greatly devoted to Trance… But the British producer is showcasing that W&W knows the long-term goals for their label in clear sight. After more than a decade of Trance, he’s slowly transitioning over to other neighboring genres such as Hardstyle, dabbling in Big Room, and other likewise styles. In fact, his latest single “Ghost Town”, features the recurring collaborator Technikore (“Yeet 2.0” and “Never Knew”) and Dr Phunk, who introduces his classic Hardstyle touch with the RC-Dystopia themed Dark Techno sound that is trending lately.
Something useless to add here would be that I liked the combination, hence the higher rating. It’s a dish for all sonic palates: old-school Hardstylers, Trance veterans, RC festival-oriented fans, and people including me who just want to be surprised.
The tune commences with an appealing vocal section, a must-have in any melodic Hardstyle production, really. Honestly, I was expecting something sinister and darker, yet this turned into almost a lightweight moment. Then, a double-decker drop gets introduced: firstly, an anticlimax sequence that wastes no time switching into a thumping Ben Nicky-style smasher. It’s fun, the kind of drop that reminds me of these Russian Hardcore songs composed of just those sequences, breaking my ears for three minutes. This only lasts a few seconds or so, without overstaying its welcome and leaving a satisfying aftertaste on the listener.
Loved the unanticipated schema, although I found myself diverging towards the final drop more, which is a fast-paced melodic Hardstyle performance, as thought beforehand. I suspect with a bassline like that, Dr Phunk focused on the finale. Much appreciated overall!
Concluding, I believe that “Ghost Town” displays the intriguing panache of Ben Nicky (and Technikore), while Dr Phunk confirms his veracity with the melodic drop. The result is entertaining, fitting the Rave Culture branding with a robust dose of unpredictable ideas. Didn’t see that one coming!