March had some of the year’s best releases yet, and to make up for having very little time for writing over the past few weeks I’ve decided to do this retrospective review of three of my favourite projects from that month. All of these releases deserve your attention, each was released by an artist operating at a thus far unseen level of creativity.
Kid Trash – SCISSORHANDS
SCISSORHANDS is the most obvious omission from our March review catalogue. The project has received very positive reception from fans, indeed it seems to be the UK-based vocalist-producer’s most popular set of songs to date. Much poppier in its songwriting than last year’s metal-tinged SLASHERRR, the fifteen track, mostly self-produced record is brimming with the personality that brought Kid Trash to the forefront of a scene now acknowledged under various umbrella terms that I will refrain from using in this review. Trash has been proto-everything since 2018, setting trends and making better music than pretty much everybody. The first five songs on SCISSORHANDS display quite how good they’ve got at writing pop tunes, starting with the gorgeous, trance-inspired ‘ICE CREAM’ and followed by the equally stunning ‘FAIRYTALE’, single ‘OXFORD STREET’ (which features possibly the best opening line in any Trash song with ‘Drop a pill in my drink at Spoons. Oxford Street, let’s go and cop some loot’), and the epic BLOODiDOL collaboration ‘Baby Blue’.
The album progresses in similar fashion, featuring Trash flexing their production chops on the driving rhythms of ‘ON N ON’ and third single ‘PALM ANGELS’. Immediately after, Trash (accompanied by Lucy Lohan, Kuru and Misakufoxx) unleashes what is arguably the project’s pinnacle in the form of the title track. ‘Wish it wasn’t that deep, but it really is’, they sing at the start of the song, decrying ‘trust-fund kids’ before popping off on the same people over a two part UK drill instrumental. More experimental material follows, the song ‘ME’ is pure gabber/breakcore madness while ‘ACW’ stars the album’s first guest producer Maple delivering an insane instrumental that seems to gain even more momentum as the interlude-length song progresses. Sonically this is easily the most diverse Kid Trash release yet, featuring the most impressive, seamless incorporation of electronic music genres that I’ve heard this year and in honesty this decade. The most impressive thing about the album though is that; a smattering of talented guests aside, Trash handles this project entirely on their own terms. Just as prior releases in their catalogue have inspired waves of musicians, SCISSORHANDS will carry its own deeply important legacy.
Lil Disceased – The Path of Hope
This is easily Disceased’s best project yet, a brilliantly produced set of tracks with enough sonic diversity to please both longtime fans and newcomers. The usual faces are here: fellow SGM member Lil Trvsh worked on three songs while other frequent collaborators (Zerosuit, ICXXY, GYPTXVN, Stevie Durag) also make appearances. Trvsh offers two of his best beats ever on ‘Ignant Jitt’ and ‘Stumbled Glory’, as Disceased indulges in the same southern sageness previously found on their Trench Muzic trilogy. Zerosuit is another key player here, producing the TeamSesh rapper Na$ty Matt-featuring single ‘Damned’ and offering a verse on the gritty ‘Durty Truths’. There’s nothing as insane here as on January’s Transvergence, but the beat selection really is too good to be discounted.
Even the shorter, more experimental songs are immensely gratifying. ‘Come From Nothin’’ acts as a mere interlude, but it’s demented enough to stand out on its own.’ Not Enough’ (another ICXXY-produced song) sees Disceased adopt a more melodic style that feels like a natural evolution of his sing-songy moments on past moments in his discography (‘IDKWhyy’, ‘All I See’). The sequencing here is magnificent, starting with hard-nosed trap bangers before making way for more stranger, more ambitious songwriting. To top it off, Ferrara’s cameo on ‘The Cooldown’ is even better than his appearance on Transvergence, making the two rappers six for six on their collaborations. If you’ve never listened to Disceased before, I can’t think of any better place to start than this.
Photon Tide – Plethora
Another album way worthy of your attention is the latest from Photon, whose most recent collection of songs is more morose in tone than his last album Afterimage (think October’s Autumn EP), yet just as sonically concise and lyrically rich. Familiar faces appear here, the most notable being Afterimage producer Fony Wallace, but with so much new stuff going on here (the spoken word segment on ‘Sorrows’, the house music of ‘Underwater’, the Button Maker-produced emo-rap dirge ‘CO2’), it never feels even remotely derivative or like a retread of past works. Afterimage was one of 2020’s most successful rapper-producer team ups, and though there’s a larger team involved with the creation of Plethora the brilliance of Photon’s vision is just as apparent.
– Chris (@108seraph)