Nick Catchdubs, DJ A-Trak’s Fool’s Gold Records partner/fellow DJ, describes A-Trak’s Running Man: Nike+ Original Run mixtape as one with a lot of “untz untz” and “beep beep.” As nondescript as it sounds, it’s hard to pinpoint the 45-minute set any better.
A-Trak, who gained recognition when he became Kanye West’s official tour DJ, is gaining almost as much widespread fame as his Louis Vuitton-donning counterpart. To anyone unfamiliar with his story, you must know A-Trak has been a ridiculous musician for a long, long time. Now 25, he won the DMC DJ Competition when he was just 15, and hasn’t slowed his skills yet. He’s recently gone on world tours with his Fool’s Gold cohorts and even did a solo European tour that wrapped just a month ago. As of late, he’s also produced and made “Pro Nails” (see video below) for his girlfriend and Chicago MC ” target=”_blank” title=”Kid Sister MySpace page”>Kid Sister.
So, its no surprise Nike asked the ridiculously relevant A-Trak to create their latest installment of the Nike+ Original Run series. Prior contributors include Aesop Rock and LCD Soundsystem, and according to A-Trak, he was “smitten” by Nike’s request.
The mixtape begins with a heart-pounding electro beat with some typical synthesized lyrics in the background, which simply say “They hear the bass and they say whoa/Whoa!/And then they get down on the floor.” The mix continues in A-Trak’s usual boom-bap fashion for the next ten minutes or so, before he kicks into a drum-heavy hip-hop beat. The next segment features rapper/singer Kid Cudi spitting a quick verse over Neptunes-inspired production.
After the only lyrics of the set are wrapped, A-Trak eases back into an upbeat electro beat and gets you into the running mood he initially meant to keep you in. While most of the set is lyric-less, A-Trak’s production is downright impressive. Not many techno DJ’s/producers can make a nonstop 45-minute set that will actually keep you interested in what you’re listening to. By changing up the tempo and the styles about a dozen times during the set, he makes it impossible for the listener to get bored.
The clever segues and up-tempo break beats will definitely provide you with great work-out/running music. And if you’re not into the whole “gym scene,” you can just enjoy listening to some great electro with none of that complicated stuff ever getting involved, like bad lyrics or radio-friendly hooks.