The long-awaited debut release by yung new producer Croww for The Death of Rave, somewhere between a mixtape, imagined soundtrack and demonstrative showreel pieced together from a Slipknot sample pack used by the band’s Craig Jones on their landmark debut album and highly recommended if you're into Autechre, Rabit or Total Freedom.
The severely gurned and kerned result is the Prosthetics (MechaMix) unique to the vinyl edition, and four constituent Prosthetics, featuring the original samples painstakingly dissected and assembled in uchronic form to suppose an alternate history of the last 20 years of pop and subcultural phenomena, one where rap metal is dissolved and alloyed with the extremities of grindcore, flashcore, late ‘90s D&B and hypermodern rap instrumentals. Safe to say it sounds like naught out there right now.
Gestated from the seeds of a conversation after 2015’s Moss Side carnival, Prosthetics has grown into a sort of hybrid golem via intensely scrupulous sessions spent panning the original sample pack for flecks of precious, vantablack metals. In the process it became as much a study in coming to terms with formative influences as an exercise in sui-generis sculpturing, effectively forming a noumenal sidestep around the sub-cultural phenomena of Slipknot’s (like it or not) landmark debut record - an album which, at the time, sent shockwaves thru teenaged suburban bedrooms and the kind of clubs you could then get into with a fake ID.
With the benefit of hindsight, Croww has acknowledged and figuratively taken those early influences on a vector that few would have imagined back then. From the record’s early warning of “...they’re doing something rather curious with the parts of the body, in a way we don’t fully understand…” the piece buckles and convulses in a reticulated series of wretches and spasmodic yet disciplined blast beats as much associated with Columbian paso doble as the pitching meter of La Peste’s seminal flashcore tracks or grindcore proper. Samples from Iowan public access TV are mutilated in the strangely brittle yet mercurial mix, whose Black Metal-debted pallor is unpredictably lit up with flashes of shellshocking psychoacoustic treatments in a complex, sci-fi style dramaturgy punctuated by abyssal lacunæ and intensely detailed cues.
To be honest, The Death of Rave was never into Slipknot at the time, yet it was hard to ignore their ubiquitous presence if you were at all inclined to look beyond prescribed chart chaff. But, as the business end of late ‘90s house and trance has become a de facto club soundtrack in 2017, Slipknot’s awkward outsider legacy deserves some polish and attention.
Croww has turned Slipknot’s cultural cadaver into a polysemous mutant that works as a brutalist DJ tool, or indeed as an introductory mixtape/imagined soundtrack boldly expressing the artist’s individuality, which feels deadly important in an age swamped by mimetic clones blindly chasing empirical populism on one hand, or all too happy to wallow in staid ideas of nostalgia on the other.
It's a beguiling reminder that there’s always a third hand, a third track or third path.