Written by: Leah Thomas on 10/6/11
Maya Jane Coles
Focus Now EP
Maya Jane Coles is the name on everyone’s lips right now, and for a good reason. The rising star has been receiving accolades left right and centre for her versatile and intelligent productions. Her new EP, Focus Now, out on 2020Vision, showcases the diversity of her sound, which spans the house genre as Maya Jane Coles, to dubstep and electronica via her side projects Nocturnal Sunshine and She Is Danger respectively. Plus, with a recent move into DJ'ing bringing her further praise, it is likely her success is destined to grow. Through Focus Now, Maya Jane Coles has produced an enchanting blend of electronica and house for both soul searching and dancing.
The EP starts off with the slightly ethereal Focus Now. It builds slowly with delicate synth hooks over a soft percussion and gentle bass line, which are gradually woven together layer by layer while a simple, but effective, vocal anchors the track together. Heavily distorted at first, this becomes clear at the breakdown, where a kick drum marks a change in direction. As the track draws to a close, the percussion and a muffled rolling bass line work the techno sound along with some cheeky distorted synth notes that lend it a surreal, eerie edge.
Track 2, Little One, throws out the rule book with it's genre-defying 90's euphoria and dubstep feel. The dreamy vocals contrast wonderfully with the lively climbing melody as the song builds intricately, layer by layer. In fact it just keeps driving and driving, making the direction a little unclear at times, but it is nevertheless, a very pleasant ride.
This is followed by Senseless, a gorgeous piece of lush and poppy electronica. The rich vocal is loaded with emotion: "Where did I go wrong? Told myself to hold on. I thought I was strong. Feel like my sense has gone. Show me the right way, to where my dreams be." The vocals give the song a hypnotic and addictive influence. Simple arpeggios glue the track together, building up to a nice breakdown in the middle. Plus the vocal hook and main melody are played off cleverly against each other, pulling in opposite directions, yet balancing things out.
The final track on this release, The High Life, has been given more of a dark dub flavour than the others. Maya has given the track a grinding and moody background beat. The bubbly percussion, cascading strings and bouncy arppeggios over the top help lighten things up and when combined with the deep and soulful vocals gives this a gentle lilting groove that is certain to get a few booties shaking on the dance floor.
Tracklisting: Focus Now EP
01. Focus Now
02. Little One
04. The High Life
Maya Jane Coles on Pulse
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