Agressor Bunx’s New Album Is Apocalyptic, Angsty And Amazing
Posted by Ben on 18th May 2017
Another Agressor Bunx album was only a matter of time. Anyone who keeps a keen eye on the steady stream of releases constantly pouring out of the drum n bass community will attest that these two, hailing from Ukraine, never stop popping up with new music. Maybe it’s because there are two of them, maybe it’s the freedom with which their creative juices flow around their collective brain; I have no idea. Regardless, a full-length body of work from Agressor Bunx is here and bloody hell, if you came sniffing around for the crushing weight of a thousand suns then you’re in the right place.
The dirty side of dance-floor drum n bass is where these guys belong best, the dens of debauchery in which neurofunk and the rest all hang out together, probably clubbing seals and drinking pints of blood. Eatbrain, Blackout, Bad Taste and Program are just a few, all hosts for Bunx’s typically industrial sound.
The album, Properties of Addition, is 18 tracks long and aims to make you visualize a new world reflective of Bunx’s music; a world filled with towers of black smoke and eternally burning fires. Constant connotations of death and damnation can get boring and a bit ridiculous in some neuro releases, but Properties of Addition just about manages to steer clear, mostly through simply fantastic bits of production.
On that note, Bleak Shadows, a tune that first saw the light of day via the album sampler and a track I had the pleasure of hearing live thanks to S.P.Y at Hospitality in the Dock. Characterised by a weird but effective sample Bleak Shadows is anything but reasonable, its cold stream of tepid bass notes quickly tumbling into a booming, brassy exclamation of intent. I love this structure; how the sample reels you into the drop, you think you’ve heard it all and are suddenly assaulted by a wall of bellowing sound.
Agressor Bunx might not known for their left-field, weirder creations but Cloudlights is exactly that, a slight breather from the end of the world which is welcome, its eerie, echo-chamber synths knife in more-than-enough dystopic vibes to satisfy. The tempo keeps this one brooding, at least compared to the rest, and it’s definitely a more unique cut that would be well suited to listening whilst in a submarine. So what this one on next time you’re cruising the Atlantic preying on merchant shipping.
Human Element is more typical of the venomously raucous music to be found on Properties of Addition, a steamer that’s brutish of course but refined too. There’s a touch of Break or S.P.Y in the percussion, strident beneath that spluttering vector of bassy shudders, both working in tandem to give this one a seriously aerodynamic feel. A few of the other tracks get bogged down in complexity, this one doesn’t, it’s just pure energy balled up and thrown at your face with a sneer.
Coming in towards the end of this album is Mental Strain, another interesting number and nicely placed to spice up the last third. Choosing to avoid a full neuro tear out, Mental Strain instead relies on tinkly drum taps and carefully placed strands of sub bass to impress, both pulsing concomitantly in a well rehearsed sequence of glowering stature. The tight jungle feel and blackish vibes work together beautifully, adding a bit of variety whilst making you all hot and sweaty under the collar.
Right down at the bottom of Properties of Addition, like a scowling younger cousin peaking out the bottom corner of the family photo, is Pure Energy, a bona fide fireball of tension builds and spliced drum hits. Apparently unsure of how bassy or fast it wants to be, or how loud or how long, Pure Energy is just that; energy, restlessly balled up and persistently banging at the door with wobbly low end dives or nefarious snare taps. A complex and almost frustrating listen, this tune is pretty fucking weird and I love Agressor Bunx for just plopping it down at the end.
Properties of Addition is a substantial amount of music, 18 tracks all told, which could be considered too many for any album but especially in the side of drum n bass these guys inhabit, with its track similarity problems and current over-saturation. Usually I’d agree, but I think Agressor Bunx have managed to come up with a selection that has everything wicked about neurofunk, but with an added ounce of creative bass individuality. The tunes mentioned above all do that and more, but, in terms of the others, you’d be hard pressed to find better dance floor drum n bass.
Jungle Future, The Offering, and Diffusion all deserve a mention for their impeccably grimey back ends, which I imagine took hundreds of hours to make but come out sounding perfectly rough, like it’s all been chucked loose in a car boot and driven down the motorway. Likewise Adamant is deliciously heavy and precise, as is Smoke The Competition and Creep Show, the latter of which has a run of stabs that are definitely worth your time.
Properties of Addition is pretty much a must-have if you like neurofunk, that’s the bottom line. It’s out on Eatbrain now, so check out the other tracks below and go pick it up on iTunes.