Beneath the Leave It To Beaver suburban neighborhoods of progressive house and dance pop, there exists lesser-known sewer villages, built in the abandoned sludge and grime of their more approachable neighbors. When artists like Avicii and David Guetta flush the more abrasive and curious sounds down their toilets, the demented residents of these towns collect the rejected matter and play with it like cats on top of bugs they’ve just caught, scrambling brains in the process.
Enig’matik is one of the bigger collectives supporting these demi-humans who pay tribute to Amon Tobin by designing noises that could be used for the next Prometheus film as much as they can power head-bopping grooves. But with The Swampilation, Swamp Music is giving them a run for their money. Listening to this album, I was taken through a pretty wide variety of neuro-whomp and mud-bass music, packed with splats, squishy sounds, and a low-end that thrusts you into the heart of a beehive with all its buzzing.
There are some truly unclassifiable tracks on display here. On Orchestral Maneuvers In The Park, Los Angeles’ Bellhop fuses worldly organic flavors with high-tech noises to create a gypsy-step stomper. Accordion, violin, and various ethnic instruments jam with each other while sci-fi sound effects belly dance around them. A Santa Cruz-based Producer named Fractal Dragon contributes Swamptron 5000–a hell-scape built on relentlessly churning bubbles and motor noises. There’s a tinkerbox in the track to provide a few sinister harmonies, but this is mostly an exercise in quirky dissonance, supplemented with razor-sharp synths formant-filtered to sound like hungry baby aliens.
Another highlight comes from Mindex, a Russian producer who’s impressively unafraid to work with a flutist and singing shaman if the situation calls for it. On Haluphonic Megablaster, he’s completely obsessed with sub-bass drops and supplements them with wacky panning wobbles that Tipper would be proud of.
The Swampilation is available as a name-your-price download on Bandcamp, which I think is a statement by Swamp Music. They don’t just want to make a name for themselves; they want to inspire producers to create new genres themselves, forming new branches on the ever-expanding tree of EDM. If you want to hear things that push boundaries, don’t miss this.