By Sean Reis
Arts & Entertainment Editor
Based out of Boulder, Colo., music duo Big Gigantic has been blending genres ever since the release of its debut album, “Fire It Up,” on May 19, 2009. Comprising producer and saxophonist Dominic Lalli and drummer Jeremy Salken, Big Gigantic mixes electronic music, hip-hop and jazz, both during the music production process and when playing Big G original live shows. Lalli and Salken have released four full-length albums, several EPs and some singles over the course of their careers as Big Gigantic.
The most recent of the four albums, “Brighter Future,” dropped on Friday, Aug. 26, and may have been the duo’s best release to date — arguably the best electronic album to come out this year.
Unlike Big Gigantic’s first three albums, “Brighter Future” features collaborations with too many artists to list, while the previous three only had one credited collaboration combined. Though many would critique that this takes away from the LP, these collaborations only add to the talent behind the production because the album would not nearly be the same without featured artists like GRiZ, Logic, ROZES, Waka Flocka Flame and Naaz, to name my personal favorites.
“C’mon,” a track featuring disc jockey, electronic music producer and Big G’s friend GRiZ — who also plays his fair share of the saxophone — was the second single leading up to the album’s release, but was the first piece of evidence for fans that Big Gigantic would “Bring The Funk Back” with the new album. With sexy saxophone samples, I love “C’mon,” especially as the track builds up behind simple vocals that ride up to a funk-filled electronic bass drop.
As much as I loved “C’mon” upon release, the last single stole my heart before “Brighter Future” was fully released. “All Of Me,” featuring a stellar verse from rapper Logic and vocals for the chorus supplied by singer-songwriter ROZES, shows off all the elements that made Big Gigantic famous. Big G utilized an electronic-based track, and with a dash of hip-hop and a pinch of jazz, the two mixed up a blended production of the three unlike any other. “All Of Me” tells the tale of an addiction to nicotine as if it were a love story, but the only genuine love was between the track and myself — a must-listen on “Brighter Future” for fans of all genres.
Another must-listen track off “Brighter Future” was one of the album’s most anticipated collaborations, “Highly Possible,” featuring Waka Flocka Flame. The song begins with a catchy hook that features Daft Punk-esque robotic vocals. It gives the track a vibe reminiscent of “Stronger” by Kanye West, who sampled the great French duo for the hit. Then, Waka Flocka Flame lays down two fluid verses over an interesting instrumental that can be tough to categorize. The drum pattern clearly goes back to old school hip-hop roots, but the style from the happy hook that starts off the song continues throughout the verses and creates an even bouncier beat than hip-hop tends to bring. Overall, “Highly Possible” ends up being one of the best productions on “Brighter Future.”
However, no track sums up “Brighter Future” better than the title track. As the penultimate track on the album, “Brighter Future” featuring Naaz brings the full-length art piece home one more time before Big G closes out the album with smooth jazz on the final song. The title track, once again, showcases Big Gigantic’s skills to blend genres with ease. The duo combines the best of their respective skills, as Lalli’s elegant electronic instrumental infuses future bass music with jazz and Salken’s drums help keep the good vibes going. Together, they round out their latest release for a “Brighter Future.”