Californian experimental/industrial hip hop and punk-rap trio Death Grips – in typical fashion – drop an unexpected instrumental EP in anticipation of their upcoming LP, Bottomless Pit. This move is strikingly similar to the release of their instrumental album/soundtrack Fashion Week (supposedly in answer to “Jenny Death, when?!”) which was in anticipation of their previous album, The Powers That B.
In general, Death Grips stick to their usual jittery, fast, syncopated beats and industrial synths while incorporating some unfamiliar styles into the mix which seem to me to be – dare I say it – a bit trendy and conventional.
These styles range from traditional house and deep house to modern EDM fusion genres. The opening track ‘Interview A’ definitely gives off a vibe of deep house and even sounds a bit disco-y. There are also tracks with elements of modern trap and house. ‘Interview B’ follows a peculiar ABAB structure with the A section being traditionally speedy, unmelodic and rough while B is rather ambient, homophonic, slow and reserved. Furthermore ‘Interview C’ is strikingly similar to something that mainstream EDM producers like Skrillex or Diplo might have done. Despite this – unlike Skrillex and Diplo – it’s apparent that these beats don’t sound particularly high-budget or sound as if they have high commercial expectations.
I undeniably enjoyed the track ‘Interview D’ as it followed an intro, chorus, verse structure (although it has no vocals) and the beats were successfully anticipatory in the ‘verses’ and introduction before the ‘drop’ in the ‘chorus’, similarly having the trap/house comparisons mentioned before. After a little melodic interlude (‘Interview E’), the EP ends with ‘Interview F’ which abandons all convention and goes all-out 100 mph, chaotic and destructive.
Overall, I was pleased by this temporary conventional style on this EP and I can only hope that some of these ideas are carried forward to Bottomless Pit!