Relentless Beats

Pauline Herr & Jon Casey Heat Things Up with the ‘Collision EP’

Pauline Herr and Jon Casey are well-established collaborators and work well together, effectively combining their respective sounds and working to their strengths. In addition to working with mega-star NGHTMRE on “In Your Eyes,” the duo have also done live B2Bs with each other and the aforementioned legend himself. Pauline and Jon have come together once again (with various other collaborators) to bring us the Collision EP.

This EP is aptly named for multiple reasons. The styles of the collaborating artists pleasantly collide, in addition to the EP being a genre-hopping powerhouse. The vocals and incredible instrumentation collide and bounce off each other well. This genre-hopping is also done well, with the EP effortlessly flowing from track to track, each with their own set of influences. I have not seen Jon Casey live (YET!) but have seen Pauline Herr at her most recent performance at Darkstar Tempe. She is a dynamic performer who can do it ALL! Dubstep, Techno, DnB and even flips of hit songs. This EP is an exciting journey, and I will be your guide.

“Fallen” opens the EP with an emotional vocal sample, harmonic and desert-like effects, in addition to a bombard of drums. Twinkling synths give the song an intergalactic melody, living up to the EP’s name: Collision. We are mixing vibes right out of the gate. This EP is going to be AMAZING. The vocal sample continues, wrapping itself around each song element. The drop on “Fallen” is tight, metallic, and wonky. Clicking drums add to the metallic feel of this drop. Occasional bubbles of bass can also be heard free-floating in space. DnB style breakbeats create a solid rhythmic foundation around the track’s second verse, as the desert strings make a dramatic return. The second drop takes on a wubby feel, complete with GIANT bass crescendoes. Rising and falling like an ocean tide. If you like artists such as GorillaT and Dirt Monkey, you will absolutely LOVE this switch up. “Fallen” concludes with a heavenly fade out into the stars. What a fantastic way to start off this EP.

Photo from Jon Casey’s Facebook Account

WOW! is all I have to say about the second track, “Shift.” Reo Cragun’s verses are PHENOMENAL and the instrumentation is on-point! “Shift” opens with claps, “HEY” samples, clicking drums, and some underlying wubs.

“Walls spinning. Tires spinning. Man your ships, she told me rev the engine. My bank account, that shit got plenty digits. She want to fly away. She want to go the distance,” sings Reo Cragun over revving bass. Reo has clearly come to party and wants everyone to be informed. The verse continues as the claps return, providing applause for his every word.

The clear message: “Throw the match. That’s how I’m living. To the MAX, this shit just kicked in” leads us into a drop filled with jungle-like drums, bouncing bass, plenty of wonks and a majestic vocal sample that is evenly split throughout the drop. An occasional breakbeat provides an added rhythmic foundation to the drop. The second verse escalates things to a whole new level, leaving subtly behind and embracing vivid description. This adds a progressive layer to the song’s lyrical themes. Smart move! The chorus repeats and brings us into an even wonkier drop than before. “Shift” closes out with drums that neatly tie everything together. This is the perfect song for a late-night city cruise with the windows down. It is Definitely a standout single.

“Toxic” is a GORGEOUS track, especially live. The lyrics are just as beautiful as the production. Inspiring hope and solace in the listener. Themes of loving someone, even at their worst, are very prevalent in “Toxic.” This acceptance gives the narrator much gratitude, which is perfectly represented in the lyrics and instrumentation behind the song.

“Maybe I’m the problem. Maybe I’m the reason we’re hurting. I don’t want to lose you. But I’m being a burden,” softly sings Pauline Herr over emotional keys and heartfelt electronic strings. Pauline’s vocals are pleasantly distorted for the remainder of this verse. Stomping bass provides a layer of heaviness to this bridge.

Pauline Herr and I at Darkstar Tempe (4/20/2024)

“I showed you the worst parts of me. And you stayed until the end. Yeah, you never really cared. You still love me when I’m toxic.” The song takes on a different tone after the verse. Transporting us to a digital wonderland. The drop is steady and glistens like a snowflake, with little valleys of wubs thrown in for good measure. The breakbeats in the background give this song a very underground feel, adding even more variety to the track. Little details like these really show off the creativity of this incredible duo! The rest of the lyrics are just as powerful and relatable as the ones we have already experienced. “Toxic” is a must see in a club setting. Check it out for sure.

Next up is “Exorcise Me (feat. Terror Jr.)” As a MASSIVE fan of the horror movie “The Exorcist,” I am immediate drawn to this title. This likely has nothing to do with the song’s themes, but I am still VERY invested. “Exorcise Me” begins with a marvelous horn sound, a call to action for the listener. This horn expands into a vivid soundscape that contrasts with the song’s dark lyrics, such as:

“I just want my blood spilt, like I’m your cure” and “Underneath my skin, like an apple couldn’t peel.”

How pleasantly morbid! I already have chills and goosebumps twenty seconds in which, is really saying something! The ascending production style really adds to the overall vibe of the song. The lyrics continue to demonstrate the narrator’s longing for whoever the song’s lyrics are directed towards. You can feel this longing in your bones, especially upon first listen. Production-wise, “Exorcise Me” takes on a vaporwave feel to it. The drops steadily march along at a mid tempo pace. The production is excellent and provides a solid backbone to “Exorcise Me.” I am just completely mesmerized by the lyrical content of this one. They are chilling and passionate all at once, commanding your full attention. This one has truly left me speechless. Well done!

“All The Way” is a FANTASTIC conclusion to the Collision EP. It is an incredible techno rally from start to finish. This makes me happy as an even split between a Wook and a Technohead (music-wise). This EP appeals to my seemingly contradictory EDM taste PERFECTLY.

Rhythmic vocal samples get things jumping from the start. The drums dance in lockstep with multiple layers of samples as they begin to chant “All The Way” over supercharged bass waves. The bass comes in and out, as the vocals partially trail off. We are getting down to BUSINESS. An ominous ticking leads to a techno drum beat that gets the heart pumping. The snares and cymbals bounce off of each other effortlessly, as brief wonks appeal to my Wook side. The tempo begins to steadily rise, as we gallop along with the collaborating artists. Revs of bass add even more heaviness to the song’s techno backdrop. This track is a great introduction to techno and ends the EP on a high note. This EP flawlessly lives up to its name, mixing Pauline Herr’s versatility and pop-sensibilities with Jon Casey’s incredibly wonky production and atmospheric use of samples. This is a must-listen for fans of all genres and styles. Enjoy!

Connect with Jon Casey: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Spotify | SoundCloud

Connect with Pauline Herr: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | SpotifySoundCloud

Connect with Reo Cragun: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Spotify | SoundCloud

Connect with Terror Jr: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Spotify | SoundCloud

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