“Brimstone Bangerz”, from Mad EP with contributions from the MC collective Area Filthy One (Atlanta-based Akxsmittz & O’Slick), relishes in a blend of hip hop flavors and terrifying dub. The apocalyptic 12-inch channels confusion and psychosis in four dark, upfront cuts. With three new tracks, plus Akira Kiteshi’s remix of “Fire & Mud”, this tenacious release smolders with barely restrained breakcore and aggressive vocal styling.
Grim opener “Fire & Mud” is six minutes of simmering dirty bass overlaid with a thick layer of potent rapping and classic hip hop samples; instruments and vocals alike are abrasive yet balanced. “Hellbass” is likewise grinding, but also hypnotic in its rhythmic purity and grooving synths. Following that, “Apocalyse Filthy One” brings the record’s burgeoning paranoia to a head, its predominant electronic organ a nice, spooky touch. Vocoder effects play off radio feedback and deep bass pulses, a dark parody of holing up in the face of a virulent zombie infestation.
Rounding off the four tracks on “Brimstone Bangerz” is its heaviest number, the remix of “Fire & Mud” by Akira Kiteshi (of UK dubstep label Black Acre), which treats us to a scorching and none-too-subtle post-urban abstraction of the original. Breakcore flourishes stab through the gaps opened between unrelenting bass sweeps, while the vocals remain prevalent and powerful.
Ever reliable, Mad EP brings his excellent production values to the table on “Brimstone Bangerz”, offering up clean, finely crafted sounds to compliment the vehemence of Area Filthy One’s militant rhymes.
— Dutton Hauhart