Stigmonsta - TV EP
TV EP is a moody, atmospheric nod to the real great American pastime - television. Every track is peppered with sounds of static, test pattern noises, and old broadcasts, giving the effect of channel surfing in Hell. It’s rare to find an album that I can listen to from beginning to end, but Stigmonsta has delivered one with elegance and panache. It’s a sexy, spooky, haunting effort that hits the bullseye of its intended target.
Since his first release, 2011’s Walk Through Your Mind, Stigmonsta has refined his techniques and matured into a sound all his own. Compared to earlier works, the increased vocal distortion on TV EP adds a healthy dose of depth and darkness; this coupled with the extra focus on guitars has bumped the music up to the level of truly evil, which I consider a commendable achievement.
The general feel for the album is one of minimal, low tempo beats, distortion heavy guitars, and deep, demonic vocals. The hip hop nature of the vocals provides some needed energy and bounce, making the music impressively danceable considering its sludginess. One of my usual gripes in industrial genres is the excessive, distracting use of sound bites, but Stigmonsta gets a pass for using them so thoughtfully. Every sound was chosen with care and serves to weave the twelve tracks into one cohesive collection.
I’m a sucker for doom and gloom, so it’s no surprise that my favorite songs are also the heaviest. ‘TV_TOLD_ME’ contrasts speedy lyrics with muffled guitars and well-timed growling. The minimalist bass line adds a touch of sexiness that ties everything together into one sleek package. ‘IS_WHAT_IT_IS’ layers guitar and organ in what is some of the spookiest hip hop I’ve ever heard. Low, distorted raps are laid down alongside downtempo beats for an effect most doomy. ‘TV_BLEEDING’ has unmistakable Death Grips influences, with muffled percussion and comparatively light vocal distortion. The bass is still minimal but more upbeat, which gives a nice contrast to lyrics such as “someone’s crying on the TV, when I sleep they scream to free me.”
A great record should feel united, with every song contributing its own facet (or in this case, shadow) to the intended theme. Despite its grit, TV EP is a thoughtful collection of hellish industrial-flavored hip hop. Though I especially recommend to fans of Death Grips, I think anyone with a hunger for the weird will feel at home in the darkness here.Jun 23 2017
Kelli is a full-time creep and part-time writer. She lives in Tennessee.
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