If you can handle it, welcome to the disturbing world of California’s glitch-hop terrors Death Grips.
Mystery in modern music is a rarity when you can follow every tweet, tumblr and interview trip-up online in real time, so it’s refreshing to find an act where little is known. And it’s even better when its something as bleak and warped as California’s Death Grips.
Well, we can say there’s at least three of ‘em: inimitable drumming madman Zach Hill from Hella, producer Andy Morin AKA Flatlander, and barking frontman MC Ride.
Hill and Ride were neighbours and apparently used to trade Black Metal tapes, and the music is inspired by anything from Lil B to Sasha Grey to installation artist Chris Burden, according to this cryptic chat with FuckingHater.
In March 2011 Zach snuck out a couple of songs on his Twitter and Facebook and shortly afterwards the trio released a ‘mixtape’ album Exmilitary: a minimalist battalion of hip-hop, grime and glitch cuts, topped by Ride’s combative bellow and twitching with static-drenched samples.
Noted, it’s not for everyone. Neither is M.I.A. or Tyler The Creator or Atari Teenage Riot. And Death Grips might be described along those lines, if they were crushed in a car compactor.
Exmilitary isn’t quite atonal or anti-melody. Link Wray’s surf classic ‘Rumble’ drives ‘Spread Eagle Cross The Block’, Bowie opens ‘Culture Shock’, I swear ‘Klink’ starts with Black Flag’s ‘Rise Above’ riff, and ‘5D’ is a demented version of Pet Shop Boys ‘West End Girls’.
Sadly, the group recently canned an Australian tour, but you can still get Exmilitary for free from the ‘band’ here as a free download and listen to the whole thing below. Note: it’s Not Safe For Work, lyrically or sonically.
You’ll either find them refreshing or repellant. If pain persists, see your doctor.