Derek Nye aka Pluto BFF has been writing music for about the last twenty years. Since fifth grade he has been involved with music and his recent release Burning Alive is a testament to the fact that those years have not gone to waste. Burning Alive contains instrumental music that combines electronic and hip-hop. Nye’s music can draw comparison to Boards of Canada, Burial and Prefuse 73 to name a few.
It definitely has dark, post-apocalyptic undertones that would be appropriate to play at that party they had on Zion in one of those Matrix movies. Nye’s songs are precise and concise. None of the songs go above the three-minute mark and don’t deviate too far from where they begin. I would have liked to have heard one or two tracks spread to seven-to-ten minutes so Nye could have explored some more creative possibilities and venture into experimental territory.
The EP starts with no buildup or warning. “Blue Planet” immediately combines pads, elaborate percussion and other synths, which builds a solid foundation. The song drops into what could be considered a verse as synths zig-zag back and forth creating a serene almost comforting atmosphere. Around half way through more hip-hop intensive percussion is introduced which starts to fall away not long after it is introduced.
“Burning Alive” felt like more of an intro to a song than anything else. It feels like one build up that never breaks. I think there was something within the drums that never felt like it kicked into full gear. The next track “Next Time” has the best beat on Burning Alive. I enjoyed the subdued bass and hard-hitting beat. This song had a lot of potential but again feels like the song was cut short. There was a lot of ways that song could have grown into an opus but Nye never goes there.
Bottom line is Nye is a talented producer but it often felt like he was holding back on Burning Alive. There was a surplus of great ideas that he didn’t know where to go with or just didn’t want to. I have a feeling his best work is still ahead of him.
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