What do you do when you are handed a release from a project called =^._.^= ? You damn well listen to that sucker!! This is the EP, D3M0N5, from Seattle’s =^._.^= (pronounced catface), which was dropped on May the 5th. Don’t know anything about this project other than they wrote and recorded this between 2018 – 2022 and, I quote… ‘Under the influence of Alec Empire, Richard D. James and Trent Reznor‘.
The first thing you get is “SP!T“, which is the screaming of electronic alarms in a trap stew. The glitching of the languid “Bl4cK P4nth3R“, as it stalks you to your untimely squeaking end with all those lovely fuzzy notes. “y o w l” is a sassy little track with a nice little heavy bass beat and it out on the prowl.
Through all the feedback you can hear the synths lurking and biding their time in “H3llc4T“. The fuzzing tones leasing into a faster rhythm, leaving you wondering if the hellcat might suddenly spring. Swirling electronic glitches bring a little drum’n’bass to the party in the deceptively heavy “TH3 R!S3N“. The zombies are coming to get you and may the heavens help you if they are zombie cats. The asthmatic wheeze of “p u r r” pervades your senses with tortured digital sounds that wind down to dead silence.
=^._.^= are doing some pretty funky, experimental trap and industrial noise. It is fairly easy to listen to and actually rather fun because you are trying to discern if there are cat noises or slinky, shifty hisses. More to the point…..IT’S A KITTY and that was enough to hook me in. The Onyx cats completely agree with me that you need to go check out the Bandcamp page, which is name your price! Meow.
Hybrid Blak Records is an up and coming label run by Keith Kamholz who is Mechanical Vein and also a member of Biomechanimal. He has gathered together, from across the globe, tracks from artists in the electronic and industrial scene to create Blaktracks II, which is indeed a second compilation they have released. BlaktracksII came out on October the 29th, 2021 and the mastering was shared by Zardonic, Keith Kamholz and a few of the bands doing their own.
Kicking off is MORIS BLAK x KALCYFR with “A Touch Of Malice“. I don’t expect any less from MORISBLAK than something that will blow us away and we are not disappointed. Metal vocals over huge drum beats, massive guitar riffs and those bass drops that you feel in the pit of your stomach. “King Of Cups” is the offering from Biomechanimal and it is a short but lethal punch to the throat with their mix of perverted metal dubstep.
Sinister Souls x Mechanical Vein’s “No LightCity” is a mix of hip hop and drum & bass with a healthy dose of cyber punk attitude. It reminds me just a little of “Freestyler” by Bomfunk MCs, except with teeth. Duo, SO CALLED, are DJs/producers and they are behind the glitch electronica of “Hypno“, who are trying to influence your mind through their catchy rhythms.
Don’t let the beginning of Sentinel Complex’s “Last Judgement” fool you. The sedate flow does not last and launches into an amazing, crazed Bach like musical opus but with synths. For a second bout, we hear from MechanicalVein, this time joined by Saltee. “All Gods” has a great exuberance in tandem with the fierce and outraged lyrics. If you are looking for something immense with huge beats and a bass drops that just throw you down, then look no further than TriS and their “Warcall“.
Static Starlight’s track “Linkin Bizkits” gives us electronic screams within the depths of frizzing synths, as it pummels your senses with the dance beat. Let the insanity ensue with “KIRA“. I believe Kofin may have been inspired by the Japanese anime Akira, from the Japanese vocal clips to the emulation of the the epic soundtrack. It is definitely amazing and you can’t help but bounce around to it.
Prophectical with “Aletheia” go from breaking beats to electronically created soundscapes and there is a lot of finesse in the buildups and near classical lulls. They are coming to get you, for this is “DEHUMANIZE” by Truly Significant. You can feel them in the song stalking and the panic between the driving guitar and rhythm, only to lull you into oblivion at the end. Sadly we are at the last track, “King Of Nothing” by ER4SE. This is probably the most calm of all the tracks with it’s use of auto tuned vocals and more laid back style. After having being bombarded with all that heavy bass, ER4SE is the cool compress.
Hybrid Blak’sBlaktracks II is a very slick production with a lot of very talented popular acts and no so known but equally skilled musicians whom are on the rise. It is nice to see the industrial/electronic scene supporting each other this way. The music is red hot, cutting edge and will probably blow your mind…. in the best possible way.