The Come Up: 5 Tracks from Early in Spencer Brown’s Career
Oct 19, 2022
3 min read
By now, Spencer Brown is a well-known name in progressive house and techno. With massive releases on industry-leading labels like Anjunabeats and mau5trap, his skills as a DJ and producer have elevated his profile to levels most artists could only dream of.
From the driving vigor of “Windows 95 On Acid” to the slow-burning odyssey simply titled “18 Min Loop” that inaugurated his diivine imprint, Spencer’s music has found its way into the DJ sets of some of the world’s biggest dance music superstars. It wasn’t always this way, though. Spencer worked his way up from relative obscurity to become the luminary the world knows and loves today.
As such, there’s a good chance plenty of Spencer Brown’s fans haven’t heard some of his earliest records. Read on and listen to some of the songs from his come-up that still measure up by today’s standards.
1. Double Down
“Double Down” appeared on Spencer Brown’s 2014 EP Chalice / Double Down, which the late Avicii gave a major boost by signing to his LE7ELS record label. It’s not hard to see why. The instrumental track’s core motif gradually unfolds over the course of the arrangement, revealing intelligent sound design along the way.
A truly inventive lead synth melody makes “Mirek” shine. It appeared on Jaboom / Mirek, a two-tracker that didn’t come out all that long after Chalice / Double Down in 2014 — but still marked a significant level-up in Spencer’s sound. Clever modal interchange working its way around the scale gave this track an edge that still sounds futuristic today.
3. Taking My Time
In something of a departure for Spencer Brown, “Taking My Time” demonstrated him capable of cutting more radio-friendly indie dance tracks. The 2016 song’s shimmering pads slowly morph across the stereo image, while infectious lyrics give it a measure of singalong appeal. Be warned: cue this song up, and it will live rent-free in your head.
“Wannamaker” marked Spencer Brown’s 2016 Anjunabeats debut, kicking off his long and fruitful relationship with the Above & Beyond-owned label. Simple yet effective, this DJ tool’s subtle changes flex Brown’s keen ear for sound design by layering the sawtooth lead with pillowy pads and crisp percussion. Time would tell that Spencer and Anjuna were a match made in dance music heaven.
5. Divine Intervention
It didn’t take long for Spencer Brown to return to Anjunabeats — this time with a longer effort. The arguable standout of the Vernal EP was “Divine Intervention,” a song in which a wide variety of different sounds play together without making the arrangement feel crowded. Luminous chime synths, lush pads, and a steady, warm bass line intertwine in the ethereal soundscape. This is Spencer Brown at his best.