Re-start 2015 with a bang(er)
John Darr | Wednesday, February 4, 2015
It’s a new year, sort of. The thrill of a new digit at the end of the day’s date has worn off, no one’s talking about how crazy New Year’s Eve was anymore, the best-of-2014 lists have dropped out of conversation and with little more than a fantastic Björk record to talk about, music nerds are finding themselves less sociable every day as they impatiently await next month’s new releases.
But this year has already heard some truly killer beats. With the release of an instrumental Death Grips record, a Burial EP, and a Rabbit Junk EP, 2015 has already yielded a handful of excellent tracks. So if you’re looking for new music to get you going before the year’s anticipated releases drop, look no further. Prepare to jam.
Death Grips: “Runway H (Track 10)”
We’ve put a ban on writing about Death Grips at Scene, so of course I had to work them in somehow. “Fashion Week,” as a collection of instrumentals from the dubstep/electro/rap trio, caused less excitement than usual when it was released suddenly and for free, in classic Death Grips fashion. While the record is indeed a mere collection of beats, “Fashion Week” holds its fair share of gems.
Of such gems, the first “Runway H” (there are two on the record) is the most fabulous. The track’s bass lurches its way forward like a thousand-ton slug while the acoustic drums stomp around in the background. It’s a recklessly heavy track that lurches from loud to louder, from slow to breakneck and from awesome to even more awesome. Perhaps the most in-your-face track Death Grips has released (and that’s certainly saying something), “Runway H” is a must-download for fans of music that sounds loud even at its lowest volume.
Burial: “Temple Sleeper”
When will he stop? Future garage wunderkind William Bevan, a.k.a. “Burial,” has essentially perfected his genre. His works crackle like vinyl records, filled with atmospheric synths that range from gritty to beautiful to both. His use of vocal samples manages to wring the purest, most aching emotions from their sources. His last string of EP’s, “Kindred,” “Truant” and “Rival Dealer,” received rave reviews despite never veering away from his past work.
New single “Temple Sleeper,” the latest release from the producer, deserves similar accolades. Strikingly close to the arpeggio grooves of “Loner” from the EP “Kindred,” “Temple Sleeper” is one of the most danceable Burial tracks in the catalog. The four-on-the-floor beat is accentuated with Bevan’s classic crackling production and unexpected structural twists. An addictive groove without a dull moment, “Temple Sleeper” peaks during its second half. A voice that raps “about to go into another dimension” speeds over a ridiculously catchy synth riff, hinting at an acceleration towards even more accessible, danceable music for the producer. Hopefully, the track is an indication of even more universal Burial music in the years to come.
Rabbit Junk: “Radical Acceptance”’
Rabbit Junk may not be huge yet, but their music is undoubtedly some of the most epic stuff out there. Coming off last year’s relentlessly intense and catchy “Pop That Pretty Thirty” EP, producer JP Anderson dropped the “Invasion” EP just days ago. Instead of the focused dancefloor-destroying brand of electro-rock that defined “Pretty Thirty,” the style of “Invasion” falls closer to badass-film score, with lyrics. Shredding guitar, atmospheric backing vocals and cinematic crescendos echo throughout the record.
“Radical Acceptance,” however, is the pinnacle of the record because it employs several of the elements that gave “Pop That Pretty Thirty” so much life. A signature Rabbit Junk vocal chant kicks the song off, demanding the listener to sing along. A mere minute into the track, a suspenseful drum beat explodes into a heart-pounding Drum & Bass throwdown. What follows is sure to bring the house down: death-defying lyrics, a guitar solo, a false and real ‘drop’ and a chanting outro. If you’re having trouble getting up in the morning, set “Radical Acceptance” as your alarm. You will start fist-pumping before you even know you’re awake.