MP3 REVIEWS (July) — New Albums & EPs from REZZ, Disclosure, Big Gigantic & NGHTMRE, and More
As the digital age continues to flourish, an estimated 60,000 new tracks are released daily. Yet, it’s the extended projects that truly let artists showcase their talent and versatility. Welcome to MP3 REVIEWS, our monthly rundown of notable EPs and Albums that captured our attention. Let’s dive into this month’s lineup:
Disclosure — Alchemy
It’s been roughly three years since dance music duo and global house sensation, Disclosure, blessed us with a proper, full length album. For many, their 2020 album Energy was a much needed energy boost to a strange, isolated world which was still adjusting to the complicated, socially-void society plagued by COVID. Alchemy, their newest full-length project, isn’t necessarily a sequel to Energy, but it does serve a similar purpose: a reminder to get up and dance through our struggles.
While Energy was more integrated with hip-hop aesthetics and higher tempo, Alchemy takes a more laid back approach, exchanging break-adjasent beats for a tropical and melodic atmosphere thats perfect for a day-time pool party or morning dance session while your eggs are cooking. Highlights include “Looking for Love,” “Higher Than Ever Before,” “A Little Bit” and “Talk On The Phone.”
— Logan Sasser
ENiGMA Dubz — Connect
ENiGMA Dubz released his first all drum and bass project at the end of July, and it was an incredible journey from beginning to end. The liquid leaning Connect EP consisted of moving and powerfully emotional elements, creating feelings of floating through the sky during golden hour. ENiGMA Dubz is a staple in the music scene and every release is a reminder of his talent and versatile abilities of creation.
The three tracks found on the EP, “Only You” feat Shyma P, “Connect,” and a DnB edit of “You Are So” from his Itona alias, each stand out in their own way, consisting of beautifully placed frequencies and vibrant layers that add to the sentimental depths found within them. Give it a listen!
— Ali Mooney
Vermyllion & Agent O — Ultra Instinct
Vermyllion is an exceptionally talented up-and-coming artist who deserves way more recognition. Each release stands out from one another and shows off his abilities as a producer with a keen sense for sound arrangement.
His most recent EP, Ultra Instinct with Agent O, is a testament to his caliber as well as his capabilities of collaborating with other talented artists, combining power and skill and allowing each other to shine. The four tracks found within the EP show off a range of elements and bring a different energy each time.
— Ali Mooney
Big Gigantic and NGHTMRE — GIGANTIC NGHTMRE
DJ and live music duo Big Gigantic have long enjoyed working with bass producer NGHTMRE. The trio has graced festival lineups for years with their specially curated B2B, “GIGANTIC NGHTMRE”. Now, fans can enjoy the producers’ synergy in a new way: Their debut EP together is entitled with the namesake, GIGANTIC NGHTMRE.
The EP has five tracks showcasing their wide range of genres and flexible styles. “Disconnected” is a bass house bop that raises the trio’s typical beats per minute and features Big G’s signature saxophone sound. “Twilight (Something’s Here)” has NGHTMRE’s distinct heavy bass sound. The EP also has songs featuring both Big Gigantic and NGHTMRE’s talents to produce music you love to sing your heart out to.
While both acts are extremely popular on their own, this debut EP shows the magic they can create when working together. It was released under NGHTMRE’s label, Gud Vibrations.
— Julia Kauffman
Big Wild — The Efferusphere With Friends
Big Wild had another year of success with The Efferusphere album released in 2022. Now, the album has been re-imagined into The Efferusphere With Friends. Several artists close to Big Wild picked a track and added their own spin, leading to a project that gives the original work new life, and an adventurous new journey for listeners.
The artists involved in the re-worked album include Cory Wong, Sumner, Small Black, Kerala Dust, Rationale, Slenderbodies, Gio Genesis, Josh Fudge, and Brijean. In Big Wild’s announcement on Instagram, some of the artists made short clips explaining their purpose for choosing a certain track and how they went about making it their own. Alongside the remixes, Big Wild added live versions of “Red Sun” played at Stubb’s and “Burst of Light” played at The Greek Theatre. Without question, this one is worth a listen.
— Kahla Keegan
Ternion Sound — Emergent Lifeforms
If Mersiv showed us what it sounds like when an elephant walks in the room, Ternion Sound just showed us what it sounds like when aliens do the same. The Minnesota trio’s latest EP, Emergent Lifeforms, is a mind-bender that takes listeners on a cosmic joyride through sound and space. A collaboration with fellow bass gods Kursa and Bukez Finezt, Emergent Lifeforms has already racked up nearly 70,000 streams across Spotify and SoundCloud.
Each of the EP’s four tracks showcases Ternion’s signature soul-shattering bass, along with a peppering of bleeps, bloops, and swells that keep listeners on their toes. From the distorted haze of “Intent” and the extraterrestrial swamp sounds of “The Return” to the undeniable intensity of “Specimen” and “Pulsating Mass,” Emergent Lifeforms will burrow into your mind and leave you begging to be abducted. If the aliens ever decide to invade our humble planet, this will be their entrance music.
— Ashley Eady
REZZ — It’s Not a Phase
Emo and punk inspiration is scattered throughout REZZ’s discography and definitely apparent in her visual approach to live performances, which usually include demonic themes and hellish depictions of cult-like imagery. It’s dark, and definitely loud, but up until her recent IT’S NOT A PHASE EP, her music has never fully crossed the line into the emo and punk rock world. So, while this evolution isn’t necessarily surprising, it’s definitely a reaffirming gesture that REZZ’s influences and creative aspirations transcend EDM entirely. IT’S NOT A PHASE is seven tracks of loud, star-studded performances with a singular goal in mind: to infuse REZZ’s signature style into the traditional emo rock style.
Complete with aggressive live drums, angry guitar riffs and crooning vocals which often dance with horror aesthetics — particularly on “Blue In The Face,” IT’S NOT A PHASE is loud and proud. Other tracks like “Dreamstate” featuring Silverstein and Tim Henson are more 2000’s punk than anything else. Still, IT’S NOT A PHASE represents a pleasant change of pace for REZZ — one that’s pulled off with acute clarity and careful respect for the genres cultural and sonic roots.
— Logan Sasser