One of the side benefits of playing a Grand Theft Auto game? Thanks to the bevy of radio stations on offer, spanning a respectable plethora of genres, it might just sneakily enhance your music tastes a little.

Soulwax FM (Grand Theft Auto V)
Daniel Avery
“Naive Response”

Starting from my early trance and DDR-loving days, I’ve had a longtime thing for electronic music. The more music that I took in over the years, the more I explored the vast catacombs of possibility for what it could be. That eventually meant sprouting from more straightforwardly dance stuff into its weirder side.

Thus, when it came to the latest Grand Theft Auto, one of the stations that I gravitated to the strongest was Soulwax FM, a continuous mix from the titular duo—basically a game-exclusive installment of their Radio Soulwax series—that expressly flaunted the more eccentric nooks and crannies of electronic music. It had its fair share of tunes that I liked; one of my favorites was this Daniel Avery cut.

It has the rhythm of a more spare house number, but it doesn’t pop with the kind of excitement fit for a full-on club banger. Rather, it smoothly ebbs along a low-key groove. All of the synthesizers sound as if they were some kind of cryptic Morse Code-esque transmission. The melody takes a back seat to the tone and the note patterning. There’s something meditative about how it all fits together.

It also reminded me of Jeff Mills’ “Life Cycle”, given how it had a similar avant-garde approach to the approach of melody. And “being comparable to Jeff Mills” seems like that ought to be high praise indeed.

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(originally posted on Tumblr August 10, 2014)


RedStripe Loved Trax—originally from days of Tumblr past—is a series about the music Justin adores, with special emphasis on songs from (or introduced by) video games and anime.