Big Gigantic challenge listeners with the daring yet rewarding ‘The Night Is Young’
“We want to challenge our listeners.”
This quote was at the heart of Dancing Astronaut’s recent interview with Colorado-native instrumental-electronic duo Big Gigantic. Dom and Jeremy, a saxophonist and drummer respectively, have made a major splash in the electronic community representing the jam capital of Denver, Colorado. These two musicians, though, have set out to carve their own path, taking the conventional and turning it on its head with genre-flipping tracks and incredible audio-visual live performances. Their latest release, The Night is Young, bring the duo to their experimental heights, taking their loyal following and exposing them to an electro-heavier side of the duo.
The album begins with “Clvdbvrst,” a track that edges towards the more aggressive of the traditional Big Gigantic sound upon its climax. The track sails fluidly through a smooth saxophone line laid by Dom with a familiar yet welcome vocal sample in check. It quickly shifts towards an electronic overtone as an aggressive synth leads the previously smooth track into a punchy drop. The saxophone is present enough to balance the track back into Big Gigantic form. Small changes in the second bass-inspired section maintain the track’s appeal, giving foresight into what is to come with the rest of the album.
“Blue Dream” follows and immediately greets the listener with signature Big Gigantic drum and synth hits and accompanying sax stabs. For the first time on the album Dom truly takes the forefront and blesses the cut with a graceful jazz-infused buildup, showing off the musicianship Big Gigantic has acquired its Big Gigantic Family for.
The album’s title track, “The Night is Young,” features electro-pop stars Cherub on incredibly catchy lyrics. The track turns into one of the most successful on the album, providing a catchy and differential sound while also featuring one of the most impressively masterful sax lines on the entire album during a half-step break. Elements of disco-groove “push out” towards other genres as Big Gigantic perfectly mix the electro-pop feel with acoustic instrumental work. Released a week prior to the album’s drop, the track’s atypical Big Gigantic feel received an overwhelmingly positive reaction from critics, and deservedly so.
A few months ago, Big Gigantic brought forth “Touch The Sky” along with the announcement of their new album, giving fans a taste of what would eventually come to fruition on the final product. The track received mixed reviews and was criticized for going along with the current trap fad until the track was performed live, proving its true intention and impressing audiences nationwide. The track has certainly aged as it settles in the minds of Big Gigantic fans, however the duo made slight variations in production towards the closing of “Touch the Sky” that preserve the track as a fresh and exciting product.
“From Dusk Till Dawn” introduces itself falsely as a saxophone-centered track before giving way to heavier synths. It is always nice to hear how far the electronic duo can push their electronic aspects, and Dom and Jeremy had a field day with this go at flexing their production muscle. “From Dusk Till Dawn” works within its boundaries, giving lighter and darker sides of the song their time intermittently. While the song proves to be a success, the lack of live instrumental work leave us begging for more.
The first track to introduce itself with a darker presence, “Let’s Go” has an excitement-inducing Busta Rhymes vocal drop and an extraordinarily polarizing feel. With a similar atmosphere as “Touch the Sky,” more trap-injected vibes are brought by “Let’s Go” before the track turns into a fast paced more stereotypical Big Gigantic arrangement. The track’s energy remains to the very end, with an abrupt withdrawal that is suitable to end a festival. While the track may take time to settle with Big Gigantic followers, it will certainly shine once it graces the live stage.
Dom and Jeremy jam out on “Just For the Thrill,” which features heavy electronic elements, making the most of their Colorado roots. It becomes clearly evident upon the track’s drop that Big Gigantic’s time spent playing with midtempo buddies Griz and Gramatik has had an influence on the duo’s sound, and its exciting to hear the evolution of the two’s sound so clearly.
The album comes to a close just 8 songs deep with “Shooting Stars” a lower tempo and vibe-friendly track for a rainy day. The track displays a massive amount of euphoria and emotion, grabbing ahold of attention yet not overstaying its due as the track winds to a slow halt just a couple of minutes later, fading the album out in a relaxed fashion. Again, not the typical track from Big Gigantic, but the gamble turns out to be massively successful, as the slow vibes works incredibly well in their place.
While proving to be the most adventurous project the duo have taken on in recent memory, The Night Is Young is a wildly successful and cohesive project from front to back. High replay ability and exciting live tweaks will hold these tracks in the brightest light as some of Big Gigantic’s best, even if it takes some adjustment from the average listener. While challenging, the album is most definitely rewarding.