From The Top, the new EP from Calgary artist Haakonsen, is a veritable two-track survival kit for the spring club and festival season.
Both tracks sit in that elusive space of being able to maintain the atmosphere during peak-time, or stoke the flames of the dance floor and set the mood early on.
Although the tracks were completed last year and have already seen play in Calgary clubs, it’s no coincidence that they’re finally seeing an official release during one of the most fervent release periods of the year.
The title track “From The Top” could easily come from your favourite Miami compilation.
Throughout the years Haakonsen has presided over numerous dance floors, and been part of a number of different artist collectives that have all left their mark on the city. He understands the ingredients that work in a club setting, an understanding showcased by From The Top’s bassy four-to-the-floor kick, crisp claps, catchy bells, and deep atmosphere.
Haakonsen’s discography has also been characterized by the inclusion of world beat and tribal elements - instrumentation and percussion from African, latin, and Caribbean origins.
“Paragorn” is where this side of his music is on full display. It draws parallels to UK Funky with it’s intricate, energetic shuffling drums, deep bass hits, and a melody that’s reminiscent of Calypso music.
This EP marks the first original material from Haakonsen on the Calgary-based Substation Recordings since his 2014 collaboration with label co-founder Esette, and his first overall appearance on the label since 2015’s The Remixes: Volume I.
Words by Jonathan Crane of Wavelength
Artwork by Michael Benz.