Nova Cheq – “untitled” (Nova Cheq) [September 3, 2021]

Nova Cheq sonically kicks you awake on “untitled,” a five pack of lean, mean, grooving machines.

Some music lulls you to sleep. Some music reminds you of home. Some music makes you cry. Then there’s Nova Cheq, the dastardly new creation from UK up-and-comer Nova Cheq. Nova Cheq is hot off a release on Hooversound Recordings, SHERELLE’s Londo-based label that has also tapped Special Request, Tim Reaper, and Deft.

Untitled shoves its middle finger right in front of your skull, slaps the bejesus out of you, and then puts its arm around you as, together, you groove the night away.

Track one, “Blow Up,” wastes no time in letting us know it’s not out to make friends. An intro vocal announces, “My main goal is to blow up and then act like I don’t know nobody.”

Brash, thudding kick drums swoop in, with no melodic elements there to soften the blows. Unrelenting metallic clicks and razor sharp hi-hats keep the tune on its toes and ready to pounce. A rumbly, rolling bassline joins, creating an infectious groove amidst the swaggering chaos. Then, an unexpected arrival: bright, poppy chords carry us to the finish line of this four minute and one second sprint.

Following “Blow Up” comes another highlight on this release, called “Gang.” A distorted, twanging sound launches into a bouncy yet consistent groove. A thundering kick rudely snatches the spotlight, and the grooving twang acquiesces into the role of trusty companion. A formidable duo is formed. A vocal refrain reminds us to “keep it gang.” Then, a brief fade to black. All sounds fall. Before we can catch our breath, hardcore synth stabs flood the tune with dark, heroic energy. It’s a short-lived joyride from there until the end of the tune.

Make no mistake: Nova Cheq’s “untitled” EP is an exercise in brute dance music force. But it’s not a blunt object – each tune is laced with personality and groove. Be ready to buckel up, grit your teeth, and swing your hips.

– Forest Lieberman

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