Oct 31, 2022
Justin Hawkes charged onto the DnB scene below his Flite moniker with the self-released monitor Blue Spark in 2013. Nearly a decade later, his skill to span soft-toned beats to sheer euphoric brilliance via the darkish, earth-shaking depths of bass music has helped him construct an enormous fan base and assist across the globe, together with a few of the world’s high DJs, similar to Andy C, Porter Robinson, RL Grime, Netsky, Friction, Sub Focus, Wilkinson and plenty of extra.
His 2017 EP ‘The Treatment,’ marked a momentous shift in his music profession, setting a movement a flurry of releases (and bangers) on labels Hospitality, Monstercat, and UKF and a slew of competition appearances in Europe and the US.
In 2020 dropped the Flite moniker in favor of Justin Hawkes. He channeled his experiences within the US rave scene with songs similar to IJDK and a remix for REAPER’s Barricade. And although these releases have been extremely profitable, the controversy surrounding the Flite moniker, with private assaults towards Hawkes’ honor throughout a world pandemic and large politically unsure instances, left a severe mark – one which he would discover on his debut album ‘Existential.’
“Existential is a self-portrait,” says Hawkes. “It weaves between my ideas, philosophy, and historical past, each inside my profession as a Drum & Bass artist in America and internally via the unknown future. The title itself represents the existential eventualities which have shaped who I’m, exploring my journey via disaster, the load and forgotten knowledge of the previous, and even the sometimes-comedic energy of being an outlier.”
Having grown up in a small city in Virginia, Justin wasn’t born into the DnB scene. Influences similar to Justin’s early stint in his faculty’s marching band enjoying trumpet and his love for blues, rock, jazz, folks, and gaming, have discovered their manner onto the album. His household was deeply entrenched in additional ‘conventional’ American music genres similar to Nation and Americana. His household’s influences might be heard on the standout single ‘Higher Than Gold,’ that includes none aside from his uncle on vocals and father on mandolin and acoustic guitar. If there was ever a genre-busting tune, this Nation Rock-meets-DnB can be it.
Nevertheless it’s not all enjoyable and video games – “Existential” explores deeper themes, similar to the concept humanity is encouraging its personal extinction and what it means to be alive at a time when the world feels prefer it’s collapsing in on itself. That includes 15 tracks that showcase Hawkes’ flawless and various model as a producer, ‘Existential’ feels much less like an album and extra like a sonic journey via the his psyche. From the opening notes of tracks like ‘Inheritance’ and ‘Arbiter’ (that includes PAV4N from Overseas Beggars), which convey energy and depth, to the extra mellow and rock-infused ‘The Finish of an Empire,’ Hawkes brings a repair for a really extensive palette of feelings. And will get susceptible together with his followers within the course of.