Foot on the Pedal by 5ON5

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The most exciting musical experiments are the ones that hop over genre boundaries. When an artist takes the tropes of a certain style of music and plants them in a foreign landscape. And the most successful of those are the ones where you can’t even distinguish between the colors because of how well they blend together.

5ON5 is a musical collective that hails from Berlin. Just like the city, the song feels rigid, cold, serious, and alluring. ‘Foot on the Pedal’ was released as a street track by the group, featuring a minimal arrangement that carries the point across with stark elegance, the point being a song that can belong in a movie, short, simple, and intense.

The rigidity of the sound is introduced by a minimal acoustic guitar riff that is subjected to dense compression, making it sound metallic and putting in mind the harsh sounds of industrial rock. This is confirmed by a dense and punchy sampled drums featured in a very sparse beat that drives the song.

The arrangement, accompanied by solid heartfelt vocals from Max, trudges along at a very slow pace that’s filled with more than enough elements to not fall into the trap of lethargy that this tempo can easily cause. The chorus features a haunting choir in the back and beautiful vocal harmonies on top of an eerie progression, along with sampled vocals and a short rapped section that serves as a second verse for a swift change of pace from the first one. A lot of exciting elements that seemingly blend perfectly to deliver exactly what 5ON5 intended to deliver.

A beautiful song doesn’t need much in terms of elements and moving parts, not even in terms of beautiful sounds. This song is a perfect example of a beautiful sound made possible by a strong vision from the group and a few moving parts to help along the way; none of them particularly beautiful, but for a final product that’s definitely about the sum of its parts.

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