While I would ordinarily be worried about one British guy going up against three guys from LA—especially if those guys have a label called Culprit and an artist alias called Droog—the results of this collaborative/combative EP make it seem like everyone's a winner: four excursions into moody, spellbinding tech house that are among the best that Crosstown has put out this year.
The mercurial, multi-directional title track comes loaded with trippy motifs, and of the four tracks seems the most overtly composed by a group, with everyone's contributions getting whittled down into dreamlike slivers that occasionally pop in out of nowhere. The fat synths lay coiled like rattlesnakes and will occasionally lash out in trance-y bursts, while half-rapped vocals and redneck exclamations about "waking up places that you don't know how you got there" are sure to confuse you.
"Unhinged" takes the spooky formula and wraps it around an uptempo house jack and haunting, wobbly-pitched vocal for what is perhaps the record's standout track. The lyric "pulling me...closer..." is sung in an eerie way that straddles the line between sensual and creepy, a reminder of the element of vertigo that underlies all forms of seduction.
"Sleepless Knights" is a trashy, almost French-housey burner that confirms this EP is a bit like a mullet haircut: business in the front, party in the rear, with the preppy, well-tailored grooves of the title track strongly contrasting with the bombast of "Sleepless Knights." It plateaus in a touch of cleverly emotive synth-pop before spiraling into twinkly outer space—a bit like the Pet Shop Boys caught in a furious k-hole.
Buy Inxec vs. Droog - Westbound EP at
Tracklist: Inxec vs. Droog - Westbound EP A1 Westbound
B2 Sleepless Knights