Recommended: Ultrademon – The .XVX Files

Up from the all but evidently staying rabbit hole of seapunk, the style which the producer at hand is widely accredited for birthing a few years back, is innovator Albert Redwine, better known as Ultrademon, with his latest offering The .XVX Files. Considering the stylistic qualities inherent in the aforementioned aesthetic and the forward thinking ethos of the host label Hyperboloid, ran by a tripartite of Russian artists including Pixelord, this EP seems a just fit, and maybe even over due. Clashing a multitude of genre principles and reorganizing elements into lurid, lively productions—generally speaking, the seapunk M.O., for those under rocks—goes the still maturing legacy of Ultrademon, which is a formula not all that deviating from Hyperboloid. Contrary to the beginning comment regarding attribution, The .XVX Files isn’t explicitly purported by the currently Chicago-stationed producer as seapunk (the title nondescript compared to Redwine’s proper opus Seapunk)—it seems he’s lost care or interest in furthering the mass reception of such an overt pigeonhole, and in line with that, our appeal to artists is often predicated on musical reasons, and not sociological or sartorial in conjunction. That said, this EP is as big of a foot forward for Ultrademon as four tracks can represent.

Funny enough, Ultrademon opens the EP released October 9 with an aquatic-tinged jumper. As the track might titularly indicate, “Try Faking It” doesn’t bother to meander or elude. Here, the producer lays a floating, sticky riff and skitters hi hats off the bat before adding on one more melodic line, this one closely reminiscent of something from Dubbel Dutch or Dre Skull’s dancehall repertoire. “Docudrama,” in which the producer takes a turn to indulge in gun cocks and idiosyncratic break beats, feels less slippery but even more sunkissed and beach-inflecting—it makes Lockah’s habitual neon seem like pastel. As it turns out, the EP in its entirety encapsulates as much as it provokes good vibes and a popping dance floor, as opposed to a presentation of tracks that are spun in garish, emotional ambiguity or even more, apocalyptic in sound (“Wasteland” on the preceding album Voidic Charms for example). The EP takes no break in being juicy, fun, and upbeat.

Michael Scala