Blxckovt remains caught between progress and decay with the tortured “STEP BACK”.
In his interview with 108MICS in February, London artist Blxckovt said; “I’m ready to come back… I don’t want to give 50%, I want to go hard with it”. It was a reassuring sentiment from someone who had spent much of last year trying to recover, flying between the fear of death and an addiction to the internet. Little did Blxckovt – or anyone – know that the world would stall once more, and that the momentum of the new decade would come to a decisive halt. 2020 really has been a hell of a ride so far.
“STEP BACK” is a much needed stop in this year’s breakneck pace. It tells you its mission in the title alone, split between optimism and pessimism. It’s a reference to setbacks, trials and struggles – familiar themes in Blxckovt’s work – but also to adjusting one’s perspective, knowingly pausing the constant movement of modern life to put the motion-blurred surroundings in perspective. Lyrically the song captures both sides, simultaneously “locked in” and “back to business”. Certain lines are a trifecta of thematic accuracy, delivery, and Blxckovt’s signature gothic imagery; “they’ve gone wild like the moon’s come up” and “loose screws, patch me up, yeah I gotta restock” are two of many examples of the many packed into a concise forty second verse. 5v’s contributions to the track are small but wonderful. The hook is an inward-looking challenge; “What do you expect, take a step back” is all that’s given. Pitched up and loosely rearranged vocals truly make 5v feel like a visitor, looking in at Blxckovt’s perpetual nighttime. Alternatively, 5v could represent the internal voice driving the song’s push out of isolation. The last line of Blxckovt’s verse is “you’re free to leave”, a projection of his desire to escape, a realisation that all the world’s people are somewhat transient.
The song is tied together by a subterranean beat from Uniquate, featuring a pulsing, diffusing bass line and organic, blooming melodies. It’s the thread tying the otherwise loose elements of the song together, and it just so happens to be gorgeous on the ears too.
“STEP BACK” lands at an opportune time in Blxckovt’s career, and also a time where all the world’s lives are affected by isolation and tunnel vision. 5v makes a great addition to Blxckovt’s work, the two also collaborated on “MEDICINE” from last year; theirs is a connection with boundless creative potential. Blxckovt’s recent release patterns suggest more is on the way – he’s since dropped a single with Deathlike called “DISTANCE” – now is the perfect time to step back into the young creative’s world of art.
Listen to “STEP BACK” here.
– Jamie (@youngjade1216)