The artist calls this music "limb dance." You'd need eight of them to move to it properly.
33EMYBW is a producer on the Shanghai label SVBKVLT, which is helping pull experimental club music in exciting new directions. Artists like the Beijing duo Zaliva-D and the Indonesian group Gabber Modus Operandi draw from traditional music and instrumentation and weld them to club beats, resulting in some truly fearless dance music. By inviting other pioneering artists to collaborate, like Kenya's Slikback and Giant Swan's Mun Sing, the label is strengthening its global reach and influence.
Though 33EMYBW is a good fit among these artists, her music is even stranger. You could point to the chaotic rhythms of producers like Ziúr or Abyss X as a precursor, but 33EMYBW avoids the genres that usually define experimental club music—grime, trap, Jersey club—in favour of brand new patterns. She arranges her drums and melodies in a puzzling, nearly random way. You will hear opera singers at one point and bone-rattling death cries at another. It's all underpinned by wild, restless percussion.
Arthropods's tracks are bewildering at first, but they make more sense with with the visual cues that are so important to 33EMYBW's work, from the 3D creature on the sleeve to the insectoid movements seen in the video of last year's "Golem." Still, it's hard to feel anything but slack-jawed by the bizarre samples and erratic drums of tracks like "Tentacle Centre."
On "Adam Bank," a tangle of hand percussion and queasy vocal stabs, every element moves autonomously. On "Drum3," new rhythms and phrases pop up like limbs growing anew from the music. As these tracks morph and develop, they become knottier, though never dense. Chaotic yet spacious, a 33EMYBW track lets you choose which part you want to focus on and dance to.
It's that quality that makes 33EMYBW the unlikely star of the SVBKVLT crew. She's fresh off a buzzed-about live debut at Unsound, and her music works best on this kind of loud, physical level. The only thing more fun than trying to unpack her music is trying to dance to it. From an already bustling Shanghai underground, Arthropods is one of the scene's most original records yet.