Alex Wilcox – Always
DJ and producer Alex Wilcox found his way to Berlin by way of Austin, Texas, determined to f*** some shit up. The tracks he makes speak directly toward this modus operandi. They play like hyperactive, erratic Frankenstein’s monsters of dance music’s most propulsive styles and sounds, stitched together into fluorescent dancefloor electronica with a hook-inclined edge. 2019’s Because The Sky Is Blue, for instance, could swing from poolside micohouse to acid techno infused Jersey club from one track to the next. On his latest EP and Трип Recordings debut, Always, Wilcox refuses reprieve from his non-stop rave. Each track is more propulsive than the one before, all six programmed to party mode with no sleep button in sight.
Wilcox’s approach is surprisingly minimal for stuff that packs this much of a punch. He uses elements sparingly, but to the full extent of their potential. An essential part of his hat trick is Wilcox’s shifts in tempo, expertly executed so that his tracks bounce and feel kinetic without the need for further embellishment. They come off feeling remarkably well made, with Wilcox displaying an innate understanding of contrast and tempo in his precision. i think i know i am owes much to Jersey club and even footwork, led by a wonky vocal loop behind which Wilcox backspins, recedes, and drops wallops of bass that pound above racing hi-hats and claps. 700 does the same by adopting Jersey club’s breakneck bounce structure, but formulating it from springy trance leaning bass.
He isn’t afraid of some pop mischief, either. Every track is hook heavy, particularly always and the giddy woo, which sounds like an acid spiked punch of Timbaland, Darkchild, and RedOne electropop motifs. There’s a Blawan like humour to Wilcox’s choices, too. His farcical samples and obnoxious sounds are soaked in a satisfying sort of irony that gives his tracks an indelible edge. sleep paralysis is demented in a similar way to Why They Hide Their Bodies Under My Garage, not simply due to Wilcox’s pitch shifted vocal horrors, but more so in his audacious meshing of bass and techno motifs to create something truly filthy that toes the line between good and bad taste. Always is possibly one of the most obscure releases to land on our radar this year, but there’s something intriguing to whatever Wilcox is doing here. It’s unapologetically wry, intelligently camp, and above all else, a really good time. This one is short and sweet, but well worth your time.
Listen to sleep paralysis from Always below.
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