Caller ID: Track Roundup — April 2022

Welcome to Caller ID, Ringtone Mag's track review column! We're back and better than ever with reviews of new music by Pussy Riot, Slayyyter, Arca, 100 gecs, Gupi, Lil Texas, Team Mekano, RYL0, MØ, and Rebecca Black.

album covers of 100 gecs, Pussy Riot, and Team Pekano

HATEFUCK” — Pussy Riot, Slayyyter

Once you hear Pussy Riot, you can no longer ignore them. The Russian punk group has been turning heads for over a decade with their political protests and was introduced to the hyperpop scene over the last few years through collaborations with Dorian Electra and Danny L Harle. As it turns out, in a space where loud personality, cutthroat delivery, and the sonic intensity of a sledgehammer are expected, Pussy Riot has thrived. Their new song “HATEFUCK” is a tribute to violent eroticism that lands somewhere between clipping’s “Body & Blood” and Lil Mariko’s “SIMP.” With a rumbling, distorted beat transitioning into a shimmering electronic post-chorus, the band clearly has the instrumental vision to pull off such a rager. But thematically, they brought in the help of a liaison.

Enter Slayyyter, whose last album is packed full of intense sexuality and violent metaphors, to absolutely steal the show. Her unmistakable vocal swagger and vivid sensuality elevate the song despite only appearing for a pair of short verses. She fills in so many of the little details that the track is begging for, pushing it out of the abstract and into the light of aggressive, and weirdly empowering dominance. It lives up to both the sonic and conceptual expectations one could have for a meeting of such powerhouse artists.

— Lav Alexandria

Cayó” - Arca

Admittedly, and I should be put on a stake for this, I can’t say I’ve ever listened to that much of Arca. Whether it be from never getting around to it or just her music being too much of a departure from my usual pop longings, she’s barely found her way into my ears. With “Cayó”, however, I feel I’ve gotten a nice atmospheric sample platter from this single alone.

Smoothly and silently, Arca works in a reggaeton beat under layers of sonic disruption all with a tinge of tragic beauty to follow. Yeule’s discography has better prepared me for appreciating an atmospheric, trippy track nowadays so this one is able to sink deep in my mind with every listen. Once the beat gives way to a crackling, enveloping thunder over top of what I hear as a stormy sea in the track’s last quarter, I’m left with intoxicating imagery of which I can’t believe I haven’t gotten around to sooner.

— Dylan Robinson

Doritos & Fritos” — 100 gecs

My immediate gut reaction after listening to the first 8 bars of the new 100 gecs was “This is queer Primus.” The scratchy Aphexian riff sets the tone to the new lead single for their highly anticipated sophomore record 10000 gecs, but the highlight of the track is the catchy bassline. Reminiscent of new wave acts like Oingo Boingo and Talking Heads, the thumpy bass punctuates the track as Laura Les and Dylan Brady take a go at a second ska song.

Following the lighthearted nature of their debut record, the lyrics are silly and nonsensical, with the standout — “I'm joining thе circus, I'm going berzerkus” — on Brady’s verse. The gecs excel at making fun music and this single is nothing more or nothing less than that. Following “mememe,” Les’s vocals are another highlight of the track, as she uses significantly less autotune than in her osno1 era. “Doritos & Fritos” answers the question of what would happen if Les Claypool grew up with computers and leaves us wanting to hear more of this new gecs sound. Unreleased tracks of the upcoming album, like “Hollywood Baby,” continue to exemplify this slightly less digital era for the duo, but nonetheless, “Doritos & Fritos” will be playing in my car the next time I make the pilgrimage to the tree this year.

— Arthur Machado

1P-747 chopped” & “master builder 1999” — Gupi

Guphex Twin has entered the chat. Equipped with some of the most impressive drum programming of the year, Gupi is headed in a completely different direction and I am officially obsessed.

“1P-747 chopped” is a distinctly Aphexian track that sounds like a modernized follow-up to Syro. Through frantic synths and complex drum programming, this song conveys such a great sense of desperation. “master builder 1999,” a Lego-themed banger, is filled with more impressive IDM, though it feels more surreal and laidback. Rarely when an artist changes sounds drastically does it work, but Gupi has mastered the style of IDM in only two releases and I’m stoked to see what else comes out of this upcoming project.

— Amelia Zollner

FASTER — Lil Texas

So, this is a whole LP, not just a single track… and it’s fucking bonkers. If you’re not familiar with Lil Texas then you first probably haven’t listened to Dorian Electra’s My Agenda and, if you did yet still don’t know, he essentially makes insanely tuned hardstyle, “ride ‘em up cowboy” EDM. Otherwise, what can only be described as “Texcore,” as he puts it.

FASTER sees the debut as Lil Texas’ first full length album and amidst the already energetic sampling capabilities, there are a myriad of features with a few names that catch the eye. Danny L Harle, Water Spirit and even the infamous Anthony Fantano make the cut with the latter landing on the hilarious “Every Drug at Once” (albeit only through sampling paired with an absolutely ballistic electronic trance blitzing through your mind at a million miles per second). Lil Texas proves there’s room for more internet-ravaged EDM out in the world packaged with album art that details more about his work than I probably ever could. The racing stripes were a great touch, I have to add.

— Dylan Robinson — Team Mekano

Mixing elements of nightcore, Jersey club, and breakcore, is the most fun album I’ve heard this year. I’m serious — this album sounds like it was recorded on the worst cellphone ever and it's speckled with little boing noises and Looney Tunes sound effects that I cannot take seriously.

The album’s at its best on “4ngelNumb3rzzz - Tropical Gatekeeping Remix,” a delightfully playful rework of Akon’s classic “Don’t Matter.” The whole album is a treasure, though. I can’t help but mention “10.000 NFT Screenshots per Second - Terminally Online Remix,” a hectic track that features my favorite break ever. (I wish I could screenshot NFTs this quickly.)

— Amelia Zollner

I’m the Worst!!” — RYL0

The incomparable RYL0 is back yet again with another banger. Her new single “I’m the Worst!!” is partly a touching admittance of flaws and partly a glitchy electronic romp. The balance of RYL0 digging into a noisy experimental sound with her personal songwriting makes the song a winner, and if it’s any indication of the sound of her forthcoming project, it’s likely to be a good one.

— Allison Harris

New Moon” — MØ, Rebecca Black

MØ tackles a post-breakup power ballad with the flashiness and vocal flourish you’d expect from this classic of a songwriting scenario. “New Moon” touches on moving past a toxic relationship and finding yourself beyond what came before, declared to us through a howling delivery of the track’s name during the chorus. Instrumentally, it’s a rendition of a tried-and-true pop staple carrying its beat in a thicker, grungier casing with light beaming through as its centerpiece melodic groove.

Rebecca Black doubles up on the latter half’s chorus before getting her own verse to follow the post-chorus. While the subject matter isn’t anything revolutionary, Black’s stylings always bring a much appreciated flavor to whichever track she’s featured on and her harmonizing with MØ alone makes her inclusion all the more beloved. And, ok yeah, I bet there’s a Twilight reference to be made somewhere in here, but I gotta do some more scouring on Genius first to come to a conclusion.

— Dylan Robinson

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