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Experimental Electronic EP Review: "Centipede" by DFANIKS

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Karl has been a freelance writer for over 10 years. He's passionate about music, art, and writing!

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Initial Impressions

Centipede by DFANIKS is a aggressive, mechanical and challenging collection of electronic sounds that produces an agitated, threatening and dark atmosphere. It might not make you feel like lounging in the sun, but it sure won’t bore you.

The first factor that stands out for me on Centipede is the sheer wall of uncomfortable noises it produces that range from grinding, churning surges to metallic clanks and from stuttering static to dark waves of deep bass. Everything seems calculated to keep the listener on edge and it sure works to do that for me.

The second element that drew me in is the sharp edges of the music on Centipede. There is a feeling of angularity about many of the sonic elements in the tracks that almost seems to lacerate. It contributes to the sense of aggression that seems to exude from the sonic landscape of this EP.

DFANIKS seems to have created a real sense of threat and darkness on this EP. The way in which all of the harsh, mechanistic elements interact has a palpably unsettling quality to it. I keep looking over my shoulder when listening to it as if something awful is about to engulf me and sweep me away.

Track by Track Analysis

“Bok Response” is full of harsh pulses of sound exploding into open space. Everything is edgy and sharp as the gritty pulse of synth grates and grinds into the music. Everything feels cut up and aggressive, as angular sounds move through the track. There’s a pattern that forms out of the track’s open space, challenging the ears with razor edged sounds that cut into the brain.

There’s a stronger pulse to “Igulari” but all of the sonic elements are still a cudgel that smacks the listener upside the head hard. This is music that dashes you against the rock of sound that continues to grunt and growl through the track. I am drawn to the way DFANIKS creates the hectic feeling of scurrying insects as the music trips and stutters along. This music has a jagged edge as it cuts everywhere and the grit and roughness shatter any sense of peace. I respect the way this album challenges one’s ears.

“Nudge Xe” is defined by hard metallic noise that smashes into the track as a deep well of bass moves under the harsh clashing and clanging over it. The metallic noises rise high into the music to batter the ears and the long flows of sound under it provide a contrast. For a moment, the track almost seems gentle before returning to the aural assault again. The vocal sample adds to the sinister feeling of the track as it is broken and twisted. This is a track that grabs hold of the ears and won’t let go in spite of how it batters against the ears and the mind.

There’s a glitchy technological quality to the angular pulse of bass and computerized noises on “Aodi” which I enjoy. There’s a whispering sound that brushes across the hard-edged pulse and deep reverberations of the bass which I like. This is mechanistic music that crunches and growls, distorts and breaks in a relentless way that gives no space for rest or ease. It’s uncompromising stuff which I can dig.

Verdict

DFANIKS is not afraid to go into heavy, rough and mechanical musical territory on Centipede. Although it isn’t in any way soothing or relaxing, it has an undeniable ability to take hold of my brain and smack it around. I respect the way in which DFANIKS is true to what he wants to create and doesn’t pull any punches in how it happens.

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