Sixtythree’s past work shines new light on where he’s been, where he’s at, and where he’s going next.
Sixtythree666 has graduated from the rank of “beatmaker”. His music is, at present, a cybernetic conscience running on electronic signals; at times, the mass loses control. Bass begins to scream and surge, melodies resonate, drums snap at unusual frequencies. Sixty’s online presence establishes the mind of a renegade, a proletarian libertine obsessed with brutally fast motors and the dial-up futurism of the late 90s. Cyber-trap is supremely well represented by his emergently huge discography. A new mixtape plots a loosely connected journey to this podium, vignettes from the same universe but different dimensions.
“201XXX Old Shxt [Free 63 Beats] (Beat Tape) [2016-2017-2018]”, or as we’ll call it “201XXX” is less maverick than Sixtythree’s recent forays into mixes. “Triple Blades” and “Life or Death” both carry with them a sense of reckless recreation, incorporating remixes of other artists as well as select original pieces. “201XXX” feels more revered by the artist – though all creators are prone to disregarding their older works these beats are respected. This is probably because nothing about this compilation denotes amateur craftsmanship; the snaking trap siren that appears at around ten and a half minutes is one of Sixtythree’s cleanest, as 808s pound beneath blooming melodies and rapid fire hihats.
There is grime and dirt in abundance on “201XXX” though. samples often sound like they’ve been rerecorded on degraded tapes, only to then be played on blown speakers. This rarely harms the overall aesthetic, it’s a piece of the branding. Sixtythree’s older works have more of a comforting energy than some of his recent endeavours. They emanate warmth the same way a petrol station does at the middle of a winter’s night, tension forms from the conflicting feelings of safety and liminality. Furthermore, there’s no pressure to conform to a rap-friendly cadence – halfway through the tape churning guitar lines replace the sound of an illegal undercroft rave with antagonistically dark noise. Sixtythree666, alongside his past selves, is unbound on “201XXX”. Though none of the tracks are named or marked, there’s a sense that each new tune comes with a baton pass from one version of Sixty to the next, whether that be in terms of chronology or merely state of mind.
Progression is less readily felt through this memory tour. Flickers of reality spark into virtual spaces, and vice versa. Tracks are generally more spacious than new works; there’s room to breathe, perhaps not on purpose. The flooded caverns of the recent “Re4_beats”, the tempestuous “outskrrts” with Skrr and the set of deeply entrancing tunes “201XXX” ends with suggest Sixty’s chasing a future even more rooted in chaotic maximalism. The best days are ahead.
Listen to “201XXX” here.
– Jamie (@youngjade1216)