Valton Jackson returns onto the music scene, and the glamorous New Yorker is coming in strong with his latest EP, the ‘Shirtless: The Remixes.’ As the name implies, it’s a collection of the song Shirtless, as well as three different remixes all done in different and unique styles. It’s a familiar concept in music, but one that’s still bold for the New York talent.
The EP opens with an intro, aptly titled ‘Intro (This Fantasy)’, and it’s pretty much a condensed version of what’s to come. It’s a dense, powerful and complex wall of sound that hits you hard right out of the gate with heavy thumping drums, rising synths and echoes of Valton’s name throughout. This leads straight into the original version of Shirtless.
Well, that’s not entirely accurate. The version of Shirtless here has been remastered to have a vastly larger soundscape and much higher fidelity than the original. This gives the song some much needed presence, and bolsters its appeal by a lot. The production is big and loud, but maintains a bit of dingy feeling and edge that should come as no surprise when you consider what the song’s about.
Shirtless in itself is a risque sex jam that doesn’t pull any punches with where it’s going or what it’s doing. Valton’s personality and presentation are at the forefront of the song, amplifying the song’s underlying themes of sexual empowerment higher.
Once that’s done, we head straight into ‘Shirtless (F D TrapD Funhouse Mix), introducing some elements of trap music into the mix. We get heavier echo on the track, as well as some pretty effective trap style synths to accompany the song. Most of the song’s original polish is replaced with a grimier overall feel, and it’s befitting of a trap remix.
Next, we get “Shirtless (F D RockD Hard Remix)” which opens with choirs and a faster tempo. It features some much heavier and prominent synths compared to the original, and as a result it becomes a lot punchier. Mixed into the percussion are traditional ethnic instruments, making it an inspired and refreshing one.
The final remix we get on the album is the boldly titled ‘Shirtless (F D Homosexuality Remix)’, though it’s really more of a club mix. It alters the original song the most, introducing incredibly loud club synths and thumping bass into the mix. The tempo is pumped up, and some distorted vocals give the song an overpowering presence.
The ‘Shirtless: The Remixes” EP is a fascinating project. Despite ultimately being made up of only one song, it manages to showcase a fairly vast variety of genre bending sounds. It’s a solid showing from Valton Jackson, and we’re looking forward to more.