Photo: Sebastiano Rossi
This Spring we reviewed the wicked EP Whatta Mask from Italy's dark-edged EDM team Cyberpunkers, and they're back again with a new mini-album that finds them exploring many of the darker themes they tapped in the earlier release Old Skulls. Still upholding their motto “Give us a mask and we'll tell the truth” (inspired by the famous quote from Oscar Wilde), the mysterious duo return to more ominous, emotionally loaded grooves for their new EP Shock, fusing elements of electro-punk, bass, glitch, industrial and cyber-metal into a big beat behemoth while exploring some surprising new melodic avenues.
The amped-up intensity is immediately apparent in the opening cut “Beyond the Cover,” with its emphasis on knife-edged, high frequency percussion and an equally stabby lead synth line before the heavy bass drops take control (it's the one seriously bass-loaded track here, at least in the album version), but with the arrival of the excellent “Blow,” we get a moodier underlying groove with a seriously funky wah-wah-treated synth melody on top, accompanied by some silvery strings at the refrain. The EP is rounded off by the menacing, inquisitive synth jolts and alarming shouted chorus of the title track, which is definitely the darkest entry in the collection and one of the band's most impressive cuts to date.
There's also a surprisingly grim, intense music video to accompany “Shock,” in which director Mirko De Angelis takes the track title quite literally, and seems to be sending a little love to the 1989 Wes Craven flick Shocker. Check it:
Shock is yet another short but potent dose of darkly danceable mayhem from a strong repeater in the genre, bringing the same balance of spookiness and sparkly mischief they nailed in Whatta Mask. It's available now from iTunes and Beatport, and I expect a fair share of remixes and collaborations to emerge in the near future, so keep an eye on their Facebook and Soundcloud pages for new tunes.