“The Sound of His Nation Vol. 1” is the debut compilation album from our friends over at Cross Nation Promotions (released via His Creation Records) and is a mix of different genres from Future Bass to Hardstyle and various things in between.
Cross Nation have done a great job bringing together some of the bigger names on the CEDM scene (Chris Howland, Jeremy James Whitaker, Kevin Aleksander etc) alongside some artists who have been around for a while but may not be on your radar and also some newer, up-and-coming producers (if you follow Cross Nation or this blog, the chances are, you will recognise most, if not all, of the artists on the compilation – a great testament to the quality across this album).
The album opens with the chilled indie, electronica “Where You Go” by Marshall Marshall. The track declares the writer’s desire to follow God in every decision and to seek God for direction in their life. This reminds me a bit of the more recent Chainsmokers tracks and the vocal-style of Oh Wonder – these are both good things as this is a really well produced track and the vocals are beautifully expressive.
Track 2 brings the recognisable future/tropical house sound of Chris Howland with an upbeat track that speaks of the eternal nature of God’s love. This is track features everything you expect from a Chris Howland production – uplifting, catchy hooks and melodies, simple but expressive vocals and beats to get your feet moving.
This is followed up by “Good Man Down” from Jaisua (featuring Eikon), a chilled, electronic worship track that flows back and forth between the stripped back vocals and atmospheric instrumental.
Up next are the EDM sounds of Kevin Aleksander with “Higher”. This instrumental track is much more dance floor edged with a driven 4/4 beat and big synth melodies that build and build through the track adding different elements as it progresses while keeping up the intensity.
Bryson Price then brings the dubstep pressure with “Cross Vision” which opens with a melodic riff and vocals before giving you a smack in the mouth with it’s hard dubstep drops.
Track 6 from Hardstyle producer DJ Flubbel borrows from the main vocal hook in Fatboy Slim’s “Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat” replacing “Rave” with “Praise” to proclaim the writer’s lifestyle of worship. This hook repeats over a musical synth riff and bouncy kick-driven beat to build recognisably DJ Flubbel track.
“Divine Sign” returns us to the big EDM sounds, this time from Judah Banke who delivers massive synth melodies that flow seamlessly into orchestral breaks. The vocals, that cry out to God for his presence, sit perfectly above both the breaks and the big drops.
Xonar’s “Suspense” is probably the track on the album that will catch most people by surprise. The main section blends eastern sounding melodies with staccato synth-riffs. The first break continues the eastern theme with more of the melodies and haunting vocals before dropping into the main hook. The 2nd breakdown is where the surprise comes with the introduction of a jazz “interlude”. Although this is a big break from the overall sound of the track, it works really well and blends smoothly back into the synth drop.
Track 9 is a beautiful bit of chilled, deep house from L&W (who we have previously reviewed as Drum & Bass producers – doing a bit of a Rudimental here!). The track starts with down-tempo melodies and the main vocal before building into the chorus and beat. My favourite section of this one is the epic guitar solo that comes in at about 2:30 and gives the track a more summery vibe.
“We Rise” from Retain is reminiscent of Robin Schulz with its use of piano and string riffs. Robin Vane is on top form here, his gravel-edged vocals working perfectly with Retain’s production delivering lyrics that speak of how we are always in God’s presence and can see him in every situation.
Rounding off the album is “Worlds Apart” from Jeremy James Whitaker (featuring Aleisha Edwards) which provides a mellow finish to things. The track starts with a staccato string riff, with swirling vocals and chords and a simple beat leading to the break. From here, the vocals come in and the track builds to a crescendo before pausing and then dropping into the synth-led instrumental. Melodic vocal elements round out the orchestral sound and the track drives on from there in an epic, almost cinematic fashion.
“The Sound of His Nation Vol. 1” showcases some of the depth of quality Christian dance and electronic music that is around at the moment (in 11 tracks it couldn’t have covered everything!) and is a superb first outing into the Album market from Cross Nation, bring on Vol. 2!!