Fresh off the eagerly anticipated release of his Color Galaxy/Highwind EP, 22 year old Oklahoman producer Jonathan Paulsen, better known as his alias Prototyperaptor, is finally starting to stand up and demand the attention he duly deserves. Having been an avid follower of the artist from his early days breaking into the EDM scene, it has been interesting to track his rise from an emerging artist with a handful of remixes, to a name that jumps out and gets people to take notice on any EP where it features. Supported by the likes of Wolfgang Gartner, a number of his originals and remixes have been featured in different sets from prominent EDM figures, with his bootleg remix of Push and Rise being his most successful and influential to date. His respectable arsenal of tracks have showcased his ability to experiment with a variety of different sounds that push the boundaries and bring a new perspective to electronic music, while at the same time allowing him to carve out his own signature brand of complex electro, incorporating elements of fidget, orchestral and 8bit flavour. But enough deliberation because I have included a buffet of some of Prototyperaptor’s best work for all you ninjas to sink your teeth into and discover for yourself what all the hype is about!
First up is a preview of the afformentioned Color Galaxy/Highwind EP, which is a real testament to the considerable development and maturation that has occurred with this artist’s sound. Immediately it is easily to recognise a strong influence of Wolfgang Gartner, but a complex buildup quickly gives way to a bassline that is undeniably Prototyperaptor. The second half of the preview features the track Highwind, a fitting showcase of his ability to seamlessly blend stunningly beatuful piano sequences with high-energy synthwork, taking the listener on a ride of emotions through a single piece of music.
Alongside his Push and Rise remix, his standout original Drive Hard was another dominant force behind his recent propulsion into the spotlight. A clear homage to the electro house stylings of Mord Fustang, this track was picked up by the renowned Estonian producer himself and found its way into a number of his own sets. It’s not hard to see why either, with those bouncing basslines of pure joy sliding in seamlessly to the signature Fustang sound. A gold star to whoever can recognise the easter egg hidden after the 3 minute mark.
Given away as a freebie to all his fans on his 22nd Birthday, Jurassic Park Snackpack is another fun and uplifting track produced in the same vein as Drive Hard, putting his 8bit influences on clear display here for all to enjoy.
Moving on to a darker side of his work now, his recently released remix of Tommy Noble’s Shark reveals a truly complex approach to dubstep, a genre that many have branded stale due to its seemingly simple framework of tasteless buildups and filthy drops. PrototypeRaptor blows that perception completely out of the water with this one, highlighting his ability to transition seemlessly through different genres and sounds using his own unique approach. A track that features eloquent violin, aggressive basslines and more 8bit elements; this is complex electronic music at its best.
Combining with Vancouver native The Slag, Crescendo is another recent release showcasing epically dark orchestral elements worthy of a film score. Another piece that shows no regard for the boundaries and expectations of electronic music.
Up there with some of his best remix work, his bootleg of Pendulum’s cult hit Fasten Your Seatbelt is another tune that is a must-have for your essential Prototyperaptor collection. Jonathan retains the classic sound of the original and kicks it up a notch with an infusion of his own aggressive synthwork, creating a true electro house monster designed for pure destruction.
In tribute to the support and influences of Wolfgang Gartner, he released this mammoth bootleg which offers a wonderful journey through some of the highlights of the Weekend in America album, with some of his own touches thrown in for good measure.
And to round out this epic feature of tunes is a throwback to an early remix that first fuelled my addiction to the Prototyperaptor sound. Produced as part of Fenech Soler remix contest, this take on Demons is pure fidgety goodness that has reached dangerous amounts of replay in my media player. A hidden gem amongst some of his early work that definitely highlighted glimpses of his future promise as an up-and-coming producer.
So after all that, if you weren’t aware of the name Prototyperaptor before consider yourself now well-informed, and look out for only bigger things to come from this artist this year.