Styx City Cult’s resident gruff-voiced rapper Trrm teams up with prolific producer levitatingman for new audiovisual project “Dissipate Side A”.
Through “Dissipate Side A” (also simply called “Dissipate”) Trrm demonstrates his proficiency in executing a multisensory project. He pairs frozen and lonesome visuals with overcast and corrupted soundscapes to lock down the attention of the audience, enveloping them in the unlit snow of the deep Canadian winter. Production from underground linchpin levitatingman is sparingly bold, featuring chasmic bass and sparse, fluttery melodies for contrast.
“Icarus” opens the visual EP deep in the night. Artificial light illuminates Trrm, dejected yet steadfast, as he phases through the frames. Petals glide across the screen as the artist duplicates and shifts at unnatural speeds. Lightlessness seeps into Trrm’s vocal performance, deeply smooth and effortless with a slight twang on the accent. Lyrical themes echo the story of the titular hero, one who flew too close to the sun and burned; “Microphone like I’m God’s son, rat race, I ain’t run, leaning back ain’t really doing nothin” is a modern take on this fall from grace, a bleak comparison of creativity and the endless crush of modern life. Towards the end of the song vocal effects make Trrm’s lyrics very difficult to understand, but the atmosphere retains enough momentum, and certain lines break through the murk; “Sending slugs to penetrate the fortress that I’ve been enclosed in” acknowledges the rigging of the system. Again, there’s clear links to Icarus reaching for the sun overhead; Trrm implies that bullets will reach those above him far quicker than he will – its a call for rebellion. Fittingly, killziggyduncan (aka Spaghking) shoots close ups of Trrm at a grocery store, creating claustrophobic capitalist hell. “I been high but I ain’t shit, I been low I like it there” sees both sides of the coin with a perspective chained low to the ground.
“Get to bangin’” follows Icarus, with lmshaw05 taking the camera and levitatingman switching to a strained chiptune lead. Faster edits, an emphasis on close up and medium shots and a less cluttered mise-en-scene give the opening moments of “Get to bangin’” a frantic energy. Undersaturated VHS-style filters create a ghostly effect. “Turn into gold, burning the rose, everything here will decompose” juxtaposes flith and opulence as “Icarus” contrasted the elite with the forgotten. Contrast continues as images of Trrm stumbling through snow are balanced by haunted, seemingly abandoned streets. A cursed wail propels the instrumentation forward as levitatingman’s hissing percussion slips in and out of focus. Vocal mixing is clearer here, which allows the lyrics to punch harder. “Ice cold, frostbit for them blue faces” ties themes of struggle to lyrical and visual imagery, an experience unique to this format. “Get to bangin’” is tense, haunting, and mystical.
Though “Dissipate” can be listened to on streaming services, the visual EP on Youtube is the best way to experience the project, by far. Trrm has tapped into much potential here; hopefully, he and the Cult will continue to dive into audiovisual experiences and expressions in the future.
– Jamie (@youngjade1216)