Suburban Dark are just the kind of razor-sharp hip hop that makes you bear your teeth, a nightmare concoction of grime, rap and the industrial production stylings of techno. The output is something else entirely, a soundtrack for the moment you swagger up to the gates of hell itself.
Following the rapid ascension of their dynamic single Skeletonne featuring MC Jeswon (Thundamentals), the duo from Sydney went on to release Death From Below, an album which capitalised on the darkened path they set in motion way back in ’09.
Embracing a strain of hip hop warped by grisly production talent, Suburban Dark are the Sydney duo here to soundtrack your most twisted nightmares.
The record landed in the beginning of November this year, and I’m ashamed to say it didn’t pop into my ears earlier than this week. I’ve always been the kind of masochistic listener who revels in the pandemonium of Aphex Twin’s beatmaking, or the eardrum piercing rhythms of Death Grips.
So when Death From Below opened with Deathsport, a track where the only vocals are a repeated droning of “let the punishment begin”, I knew I was in for a treat.
The whole record rings with a relentless syntax, taking no prisoners, forcing you upon its rhythms like a slave driver. Yet for all the aesthetic integrity and artistic conformity present in Death From Below, there’s an astounding amount of ground covered.
Trembling trap hooks permeate the album’s higher moments, while a dubby undercurrent slithers beneath tracks like Dreams ii and Circle Work. At times the beats even cascade into harder house and techno affiliates.
I’ve never had the pleasure of catching Suburban Dark live, but I’m sure these moments are pasted into their tunes as straight dance floor burners.
The grime influence sits heavy on Death From Below, track Cold Hands even calling in the meaty brass synths synonymous with the genre. Yet where most naysayers would shake grime off as simplistic, this is something you simply couldn’t say for Suburban Dark.
Skit tracks intro and outro the album. Contaminated is another sample-driven cut adding a storyteller’s character to the record. It empties any possibility that Suburban Dark are simply here to throw down beats and watch crowds churn… they’re much higher on the pecking order than that.
Suburban Dark will be launching Death From Below tomorrow at the Hudson Ballroom in Sydney alongside a ton of friends. Score your tickets here, and check out the full details on the Facebook Event.