Article by Chuck Trash
To describe _sirDH, real name Devin Hudson, as a dynamic artist is somewhat of an insult. Molded between 2015 and 2016, Hudson’s “steel ep” is the type of project that takes several listens to properly dissect. Clocking in at just ten minutes and spread out over four total tracks, Hudson has successfully delivered layers of jarring club music that far surpasses the likes of many reputable artists within the popular sub-genre.
“steel ep” is a quick listen. It isn’t the most accessible club music ever made. At times, it is noisy and relentlessly energetic. To contradict the intense portion of the project, Hudson intertwines a very cohesive ambient soundscape across every track. With this information provided, it needs to be clear that this is a project for fans of deeper listening. As previously stated, _sirDH created this project with sheets of different sounds. In other words, every listen will likely be different than the one previous to it, and so on and so forth.
The EP kicks off with a spacey “Intro” track, which seems to serve the purpose of setting the tone for what the next three songs will sound like. Being that Devin Hudson crafted these tracks over the course of two years, it becomes abundantly clear while listening that he likely has made a plethora of unreleased tracks. It is also likely that among the tracks created since he began developing his sound, Hudson decided that these four tracks fit together well in terms of an actual release—and they really do. As the “Intro” slowly moves away from an array of ambient synth tones, it transforms into a mild blueprint of minimal club music. As the heavy bass drum echoes around the latter half of the “Intro”, both the synth and the kick stop simultaneously while the EP presses on into unpredictable territory.
The second track, “Missing”, is the perfect transition from near silence on the tail end of the “Intro” to where the music picks up again. “Missing” also contains some of the peak moments from the entire EP, as it serves up a versatile dose of countless genres buried within the massive overall scheme of electronic music. While the general melody of the song is enticing and intense, the last minute of the track serves as the highlight of the record. Departing from a more traditional club melody, Hudson evolves the track into a handful of measures of solo synth and then drops a shaking 808 kick behind the droning synth, creating an original sound.
The third track and title track, “Steel”, serves as an excellent follow-up track to “Missing”. While “Steel” doesn’t stray as far away from the traditional club music sound as the last minute and a half of “Missing”, it still stands out as an original and appealing track that once again fits like a puzzle piece to the overall image of what Hudson carves with “steel”. In terms of spinning these tunes in a public club setting, “Steel” is also the most crowd-accessible track of the four.
The final track, which features the GTW on vocals, is another track that really stands tall both alone and fits in quite well with the songs preceding it. “India Love”, the “steel ep” closer, fades in with a duo of further unique synth patterns and the GTW backing the melody with sporadic but fitting vocals. The hook, which repetitiously states “I wish the world looked like India Love”, is the first piece of supporting evidence that Hudson has created a project clouded by optimism during a turbulent time for everyone in the world.
Unlike so much club music that comes out, this final song solidifies the fact that this is actually an uplifting project if anything. “Dark” or “ominous” music has all but flooded a large percentage of modern music–and there is literally nothing wrong with that. Club music specifically can be interpreted as a dark genre because of how intense the melodies are and how much eccentric and fast-paced energy carries through so many projects. While “steel ep” doesn’t stray so far away from club music that it becomes unrecognizable, it does do a fantastic job deceiving the listener that it is actually an upbeat project in the end, and that in itself makes this EP both original and unique.