Patrick Topping had an impressive 2016: he finished 11th in Resident Advisor’s year-end readers’ poll of top DJs, making a huge leap forward from his No. 48 ranking the year before. Today Billboard Dance is exclusively premiering the producer’s first tune of 2017: a lean, jubilant number titled “Yes Chief.”
“‘Yes Chief’ is a tribute to The Chief aka Nick Yates (head of Kaluki & manager of Paradise), as he is always shouting ‘Yes Chief!,'” Topping explains in an email. “The vocal I’ve used is from a old UK rave MC, as I used to really be into North East rave music. The MC actually says, ‘yes crew,’ but fuck it, sounds a bit like ‘yes, chief’ and makes me think of Nick!”
The MC is just one of many attractions here: Topping overlays several lines of clicking percussion, creating a syncopated latticework of rhythm, and when the bass enters, it’s ankle-bitingly low and convincingly mean. There’s another effect buzzing through the background like the distant shriek of a subway train; the melody doesn’t present itself until after the two minute mark. Periodically the MC bursts through the pulse and steals the spotlight by imitating the sound of monkey’s call — even if you don’t know Nick, this will grab your attention.