When Tiga and Zombie Nation announced their first single together as ZZT, "Lower State of Consciousness," it may have sounded like a lowbrow paean to raving at its most mindless, but the music was another matter. Quite apart from the gakked-up antics of your average electro "banger," the track dug into its ragged sawtooth bass with black metal gusto; "lower," in this case, meant "visceral."
"Vulkan Alarm!" is even more violently thrilling, but again, instead of bangers, they give us a controlled smolder. (Fittingly, the track's video consists of nothing but a car on fire, from pristine to a pile of ashes in just under seven minutes.) A fidgety bass modulation, reminiscent of Mr. Oizo's "Flat Beat," serves as the track's main riff, but anonymous gear boxes shoulder most of the work, filtering and compressing and sculpting the gravelly chug every which way, from a whetstone-sharpened edge to an apocalyptic rumble. Three-quarters of the way through, it briefly becomes another track entirely: the alternating buffing and bludgeoning forces fall away for a plaintive vocal melody, which disappears almost as quickly as it came. But it makes a difference, that single ray of light on the coals; it's like an exit hatch up and out of the chaos, and you won't hear the track the same way again.
Proxy, Jan Driver and Perc all contribute heavy, industrial-strength mixes, but none of them pander to the bangers crowd. The differences between them are not great: Driver's, which makes the most of the original's vocal interlude, is also the loudest, in keeping with the Berlin producer's love of headcrushing overdrive and compression. Russian producer Proxy's is the ugliest, with a synth riff that sounds like a duck being strangled and great, glacial sheets of dissonant orchestral sounds whipping up terror in the wings. And Perc's is grimmest, adding a bunker techno drum track and suffusing everything in soot and goo.
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Tracklist: ZZT - Vulkan Alarm! 01. Vulkan Alarm!
02. Vulkan Alarm! (Proxy Remix)
03. Vulkan Alarm! (Jan Driver Remix)
04. Vulkan Alarm! (Perc Remix)
05. Vulkan Alarm! (Perc Remix 2)
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