The two latest singles from California’s Photon Tide are especially concerned with the concentration and application of power.
Multi-talent Photon Tide has been on the 108MICS radar for a while, joining Chris for an interview a short while back. Tide’s output has been unrelenting all year, seeking and achieving collaborations with Astral Trap, Bleachh, Popstarbills and others. A pair of recent singles, “Power!” and “Terrible”, find the artist scope in on how power flows from creator to audience.
The aptly titled “Power!” was the first of the two to drop. It’s a devastating two minute ride, a musical walkway flanked by landmines and fireworks. Clearly this song lives up to its namesake with brutal force and severe timbres, as a growling bassline courtesy of pilotkid evolves into a crushing wall of distortion. Photon Tide rides this sonic tsunami with purpose, making lyrical footfall between the clap of the drum beat. “I fuck around in the moment” juts out from the verse, as does “nobody coming up, I started climbing up the tower”. He paints himself as a nihilistic Moses, raining down chaos from up high to the masses below, intensely separate from the rest. It’s typical rapper arrogance that hits hard thanks to the tune’s context. Everything here, from the beat to the bars, is effective and weaponised. There’s “Power” in abundance, but Tide is keen to channel it for his own needs, virtuous or villainous.
About a week after “Power!” came “Terrible” with Phixel, produced by one of this year’s underground champions blackwinterwells. The beat is comprised of high calibre synth lines, arpeggios that erupt into chords and fuse with other resonance to create a convincing matrix. The power of “Terrible” is emotionally charged. Hope and despair dance in a darkness only illuminated by wells’ darting instrumental. Photon Tide, up first, is heavy on the mic. Tide sings; “dreams of hiding, dreams of day”, setting internal conflict against the lawlessness of the dream realm. Phixel is pleasantly robotic but lost to the mix other than a few lines. “I hate everything about me, don’t you?” is one of the few that cut through, fittingly despondent and adding to the song’s tension, itself built from contrast.
These songs leave a resounding impression, not only from their immediate impact but also from Photon Tide’s obvious versatility. Those in need of new sounds should try their best to keep up with the fast-moving and frequently-releasing artist, if only to witness these powerful ideas being made into light work.
– Jamie (@youngjade1216)