Alix Perez and EPROM, also known as SHADES, send a shiver down your spine with their latest EP, The Dance Of Death. The duo masterfully creates a nightmarish soundscape that has all the birds tweeting about how this project is surely linked to demonic summoning. Children everywhere are calling their mothers to pick them up. Conspiracy theorists across the globe are frantically preparing the arrival of Dormammu. And me? I’m just marveling at the unbelievable production prowess these two legends possess.
Individually, Alix Perez and EPROM have been pushing sounds that move the chains forward when it comes to bass music. But together, their minds create arrangements that literally form conspiracies. Their monochromatic aesthetic and symbolic nature pair with their hellish production to create an almost dangerous experience. To put it simply, the SHADES project invokes thought.
My first question — how?
The EP begins, as does life, with “The Creation.” The track slowly bleeds different bass frequencies and risers as it steadily grows your anticipation. Varying sounds flow inward and outward through your mind, painting imagery that is equal parts evolution and chaos. To some, this single could maybe get misconstrued as an extended intro from its arrangement. But to me, it serves its purpose beautifully. “The Creation” is exactly that. It’s the egg that’s beginning to hatch. It’s the birth of a presence that is still unknown. New life in the form of soundwaves. Far out, man.
As “The Creation” fades, “The Corruption” begins. Released on September 29th, the first and only single from the EP is placed perfectly in order to set the tone. The dark undertones latch onto you and infect you with an insatiable groove. The harsh entrance feels like a system rebooting with failure on every attempt. But when the glitching finally breaks through, it warps into a halftime heater with bolstering bass and deep experimentation. It’s aptly named because once it starts, this lead single corrupts you with the desire for more.
The percussion breaks in between exemplify this feeling of acceptance towards the “corruption.” The hi-hats tick as you strut into a newfound existence that’s dark and twisted in nature. Leaning into the darkness and henceforth personifying it.
“Eternal Rain Descending”
Once you’ve accepted your fate, the never-ending rain begins to descend. Chopped vocals glitch and repeat before hard synths start falling over you like comets striking the earth. As the ground beneath you crumbles to ash, the bass begins to devour everything in its wake. The DnB notes scattered throughout add to this feeling of getting overwhelmed by an outside force you cannot control. The track feels like a punishment from “The Corruption” you just experienced. Then, it drifts away to make room for the final act.
“The Last Judgement” feat. MC GQ
Rounding out the EP is the unforgivable and animalistic track, “The Last Judgement.” The end to your experience lies ahead, and with it, comes anguish. After a distant voice becomes clear, bass frequencies of extreme intensity start hitting you in waves; like a beating heart experiencing palpitations. MC GQ narrates your thoughts after the first drop, citing this as “an instant rewind.” And as the track progresses, the intensity only increases. The tune serves as the final sentencing in your ultimate demise, and it’s by far my favorite from the EP.
“The Last Judgement” is a perfect example of the deep, dark, and gritty style that SHADES excels in. The sonic landscapes that Alix Perez and EPROM build are crafted in a way that is so unrecognizable, some may even call it fearful. It’s said that humans tend to fear what they fail to understand. Hell, people have even accused Tipper of “energy harvesting” at his live shows. All I know is, at the end of the day, art is subjective. But no matter how you spin it, if you’re a fan of bass music, you cannot deny…this EP is gas.
Fall victim to The Dance Of Death by Shades below
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