Looking again to Matter, we find a flicker of insanity from SalemGasMask, who perpetuates the self-crowned genre of “robloxcore” with “Toybox.x”
Everything about “Toybox.x” from vocalist SalemGasMask and producer Tommet45 reads like a bucket full of flashbangs; from the outset Tommet’s beat is hyperactively jittery, bouncing like a kangaroo on a trampoline. Originally dropped on Soundcloud “Toybox.x” now finds itself succeeding on Matter, and it’s not hard to see why. Melodically the tune is carried by a rapid arpeggiator that slams its way into the mix, catching and releasing with joy. Everything about “Toybox.x” is true to its name, bright, plastic, colourful, down to Salem’s delivery, which winds tightly around the beat, slotting together like puzzle pieces. Salem breathes life into lines like “Said your life a movie, need a laugh track” and “Hope my pockets give me scoli-oli, bad back”. All the while Tommet’s production bubbles away in the background, simmering under the heat of Salem’s unbroken and quick-witted performance.
Matter’s youth is reflected in its community and the sounds they conjure, and “Toybox.x” is a perfect example. A theme of growth arises from the song’s production; though the shaky synth leads that open the track are musically aligned they are just dissonant enough to feel like unique pieces, spiraling upwards and around and demanding attention. The whole vibe is unstoppably mobile, not so much agile as it is overtired. Salem’s voice is deadpan, to a fair degree, which gives the previously quoted lines a nice finish of sarcastic humour, repainting apparently childlike wonder as caffeinated and artificially induced. It’d be false to call anything about “Toybox.x” fake, though. It embraces the internet kitsch that fuels genres from hyperpop to vapourwave, right down to the Matter cover art which is seemingly ripped straight from the Sonic quarter of Deviantart.
As the song progresses (which it really does, impressive for a mere two minutes) everything starts to blur together, Salem slurs through “trying to find a needle in a Maybach” and other lexical twists. There’s an attempt at a punchline with “red light, ah, leave me the fuck alone” but it lands as a break rather than a true impact. Everything about “Toybox.x” is brittle, like honeycomb or thin glass, and this is true from the start. Cracks that do show are expected, if still unpredictable, which creates a gorgeously broken atmosphere.
“Toybox.x” ends with a reprise of the hook, leaving listeners where they started. It’s a satisfying ending that tempts replays, and achieves what these playful and digitised trap tunes do best. Stepping out of the toybox the world seems bright, saturated, harmless, and inconsequential.
Listen to “Toybox.x” here.
– Jamie (@youngjade1216)