Album: This Is Droid Hop Volume 1
Artist: Solypsis & Deftly Demolition
Release Date: June 9, 2023
Label: Component Recordings
Solypsis & Deftly Demolition’s “This Is Droid Hop Volume 1” is a raucous romp – an endeavor. It’s an battle tested star cruiser thrusting itself into a electronic war. I’d say this has a bunch of rich textures and pulsating rhythms that seem to echo from some distant, machine-oriented universe – but really this universe is well known and you know exactly where you’re going. But that’s what makes it so awesome. What do space villains listen to when they’re heading into battle? Probably this album.
“Motor Mouth,” the opener, is a robust track, driven by a relentless rhythm and punctuated by satisfying synth lines that that set the stage for the journey that lies ahead. It’s a warnog welcome to the realm of cybernetic sounds, where energy and broken machine pieces are aplenty.
“The Hunter” doesn’t slow things down a bit – it paints in rusty melodies and drumbeats sprinkled with high hats. The thudding bass and metallic rhythms remind of a lost Sonic the Hedgehog level. That’s not an insult to anyone who knows what I’m talking about.
“Your TRUTH” offers a surprising blend of distorted vocals intertwined with the album’s theme of futuristic war. The lyrics are so late 90s and reminds us that making teenagers (or people who compare songs to Sonic themes) depressed, is like shooting fish in a barrel. Standout track.
“Opposite Action” gives me a Chemical Brothers vibe. It offers a throbbing fusion of liquid percussion and jagged synth riffs, creating an unsettling yet oddly pleasing equilibrium of tension and release. Did I mention more distorted vocals? Come to daddy.
“Tranquility Bass,” is actually an apt title. The lulling beats stand as an oasis of calm amidst the chaos, right? Until the chaos starts again with lasers and slightly off-tempo liquid beats. It settles back down, but this tranquility is, short-lived as “This Is Droid Hop Part 1” delivers a maelstrom of kinetic rhythm at medium tempo, hammering home the duo’s now-canon signature sound in spectacular fashion. The follow-up, “Malfunctioning Biomechanical Cathedral,” adds layers of industrial noise and ambient dissonance to the mix, pushing the boundaries of this battle even further. This is another standout track.
By the time you get to “Cut & Saw” you realize what kind of heavy firepower is in use. This is one of those tracks where you wonder if the person who EQ’ed this track is incompetent or a really fucking good sound engineer. “Click Clang Bang” is a step backwards. It feels like “Cut & Saw” turned inside out, but maybe that was the artist’s intent.
“Eat Your Cosmic Soup Dear” stands as a memorable moment in the album. It’s like, “Wait, I thought we were in a war?” It’s an oddball fusion of sounds and spacey vibes mixed with stuttering beats that mesh together to form a track that feels as if it’s sound tracking a particularly painful point in the artist’s life. It’s a track that feels like therapy – or maybe regression.
“Oh Gurgle My Lovelies” showcases a weirdly seductive beat and swirling abstract melody. But those drums just keep on punching – the villains are losing. If weren’t certain of this, “This Is Droid Hop Part 2” is the death knell. A really depressing track that seems to be trending downward for five straight minutes. The closing number, “Military Intelligence,” ends on an appropriately intense note, full of frenzied rhythms and with some modulated synth guitars. Haunting vocals that you think would envelop everything that just end up getting destroyed by the “push-the-self-destruct-button-so-the-heroes-can’t-win” trope. Fun track.
“This Is Droid Hop Volume 1” is a fun odyssey. There are moments of pure adrenalized chaos, followed by calm, surreal sequences that reflect a stark and beautiful desolation. Solypsis & Deftly Demolition have shown us an audacious glimpse into a parallel musical war torn galaxy.