Pursuing his transgressive dismantlement and reshaping of current hip-hop and trap motifs as seen from a proto-technoid perspective – fitting somewhere betwixt the growingly influential legacy of the chopped-and-screwed sound of the Memphis and Houston rap scenes and Merzbow at his most savage, French producer Jonathan Zion Katsav aka Crave does it again on his new EP for Mind Records. One thing’s sure, lovers of Three Six Mafia and Tommy Wright III’s out-of-joint hip-hop instrumentals won’t find themselves too puzzled when the needle hits that ‘Loco‘ groove.
Cloaked in swollen distortions and freq-shifting FX tremors, ‘Let’s Do Voodoo‘ opens fire with a fierce mashup of abrasive riffs, sizzling textural landslides and acid-washed rhythms, including what seems to be a coughing engine sample on overcrank. Never stingy with the dead-waking breaks and drops, Crave sure knows how to make his gear spit fire and this one’s just further evidence of his adroitness in crafting a unique hybrid of rip-roaring noise, gut-churning dubstep and goth hip-hop from the crypt. The kind of volatile matter one better handle with care.
Breaking the B-side in, ‘16‘ trades the voluptuous bedlam of the opener for an equally anxiogenic yet less noisey blender of styles. Blazing a trail across a nightmarish labyrinth of closed entries, the track bounces and bucks convulsively as whispering vocals sneak their way through the air vent. Lashing throughout this short-but-dense trap-indebted belter, a fetching chimey melody makes for the perfect counterpoint to the heavy alloy of triple-time hi-hats, nasty bass stabs and pipe-band drums that Crave blends with striking genuineness; his fine sleight and high-precision arrangements showing particularly efficient here.
Last but not least, the EP’s anthemic title-cut ‘Loco‘ heaves the whole thing to a new peak with its high-intensity mix of nostalgic synth tides from outer-space, pealing bells, grimy trap hats, raving lyrics and a monster sub-bass comber to conduct the movement. Innervated by a sense of deviant playfulness, as per usual with Crave, the syncopated swing of the track shall prove massively devastating on the dancefloor. If a brief listen is enough to understand the immediate power of impact of ‘Loco‘, two hundreds may not be enough to deliver you from its slow-drip, poisonous hex. “In my head I just feel LOCO / Everyday I just feel LOCO!”
Loco is released via Mind Records on 15th December, pre-order a copy from Bandcamp.
A1. Let’s Do Voodoo