By the end of their new mixtape, experimental Philly artist QQQ seriously leaves you thinking what planet you just landed on. The four songs on Shriveling vary drastically in timbre, rhythmic complexity, and instrumentation, and can be disorienting if you didn’t know there was a single person consistently at the wheel.
Throughout Shriveling, QQQ — the stage name of electronic musician Evan Campbell — takes the listener on a journey through a synth-laiden, atmospheric joyride. Processed bells, entrancing basslines, and manipulated vocals run throughout “No Answer,” while the tiniest blips and bits of percussion can be heard jotting from ear to ear as warm synth pads outlay “Keep Hold of Despair.” To say this tape is simple or run-of-the-mill for electronic music would be a massive understatement, as QQQ has truly crafted a mood and gives it straight to your face. The upfront synth melodies coincide perfectly with the ever-evolving pads and soundscapes, while pounding kick drums and the jittery percussion run freely.
The title track, “Shriveling,” is the shortest, but features the heaviest doses of polyrhythmic drum hits glitched out into oblivion. Heavy screams and vocal manipulation come back for “Cold Star, Forever,” which gracefully transitions between digital drum grooves and wandering, syncopated synth-arpeggios. The longest and last cut presented, this tune serves as a wonderful send off as even more fast-paced percussion blips and fx samples fade out into nothingness.
If you are a fan of Aphex Twin or Oneohtrix Point Never, this is the perfect mixtape for you. Check out Shriveling below.
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