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D. Gookin | Prey on the Prize

album review by John Powell

D. Goodkin | Prey on the Prize

To start, this critic has come around to autotune- maybe not in all its widely used methods, but some artists have a way of implementing the robotic energy of autotune, and when it’s placed sporadically in a more robotic sounding song, well, then it can be wonderful.

D. Gookin’s fifth release, Prey on the Prize EP, is a much like the rest of his work, and for those that don’t know him, this young DJ makes reggae-based club thumpers laced with synths and affected vocals. It’s all wonderful, catchy music, but the interesting thing is he’s a shaggy-haired white dude, and Prey on the Prize sounds like Owl City if he went reggae, like a kid at his computer for long hours, making weird synth noises that when puzzled together make impressively smart music.

“Tastebuds” is DJ spectacular. The melody is pop-radio ready, and the lyrics simple and familiar, but not contrived. It’s almost like D. Gookin could be saying anything. It’s more about the beat, a mad punctuation of drum n’ bass and reggae rhythm synths, tweaking and turning to dance perfection.

“Riding Onna Shockwave” is the same, a basement dance hit, bass-heavy and all about good times. “I wonder what it feels like/ if I would go farther/ Does anyone feel like dancing?/ I wish I could stay longer.” He lives in a world where the mundane life leads to stellar late night parties.

The key track, however, is “Ganja Farmer”, the rootsiest song on this EP, although spacey and psychedelic too. The melody is giddy, free falling, and the chorus- a perfect use of autotune, explodes in an eargasm worthy of big speakers. The tune is about selling weed as a teenager, but it’s much more than that: it’s about the good old days, and about keeping that feeling going.

Listeners need buy in to this particular sound, highly affected, over produced synth beats and whirs, but if you do buy in you’ll find the volume constantly increasing as you listen to any one of these songs over and over. It’s a real treat.

Bottom line: Overproduced autotune white man with rasta vibes creates smokin’ EP.






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