Every now and then you come across a release that just gets the epitome of cool and it seems effortless. Ben Hixon is probably a name most aren’t familiar with, but he’s steadily out here packing serious punches in house and techno. The Brooklyn-based, Dallas-raised DJ and producer’s N.I.C.E. EP is filled with four intelligently crafted and sophisticated tracks—certainly a hidden gem.
The EP eases in with “D.Part2,” a track that lurks around as it slowly builds with simple, yet effective layers. It’s a little taste of what’s to come. Get yourself a quality set of speakers or headphones for this one. Hixon crams in lots of interesting, percussive texture if you want to get technical. However if you’re feeling more laid back, you want to hear all those synth subtleties coming through.
More of the sass starts to come through as the EP moves on to “Advances.” Its hard-hitting kick is the kind of thing that makes you want to stomp all over the dance floor. Hixon loads up “Advances” with layers of crisp percussion and he especially indulges listeners with lovely cymbal work.
“ANAU” is the only track on the EP to incorporate vocals, and they’re used in a way that brings full-fledged attitude. Paired with a grimey core groove, “ANAU” is one of those tracks that’s going to leave people missing the club in this pandemic. It’s another stomp-worthy production, but unlike some of the others on the EP, “ANAU” demands a sweaty room with everyone dancing.
As Hixon wraps up his N.I.C.E. EP with “BDZ,” he wastes no time getting down to business. Right from the start, the punchy staccato beats hook everyone on for the ride. Hixon throws in little flecks of softer synths and accents, but “BDZ” is clearly meant to hypnotize with its drive and aggression. Ben Hixon’s N.I.C.E. EP is out now, look for it on Dallas label Dolfin Records.