“Recently signed to Post-Echo, this remarkably compelling experimental electronic dance music duo called Clemson home prior to their relocation to Columbia late last year. It’s a welcome addition to our local scene, particularly with the release of The Kids Must Die, a 5 song EP that sees the group adding hip-hop flourishes (and guest MCs) to their sonic arsenal.
While the most characteristic part of their sound is Jordan Young’s emotive vocals, which are often pitched and processed in interesting ways, it’s the way the he and partner Chris Tollack build sonic landscapes of pulsating synths, roving bleeps and blurps, and oddball percussion to create a thoroughly heady mix that really excites. Bringing to mind the adventurous innovation of Daft Punk in spirit if not always in practice, their compositions always seem relentless more than anything, rarely stopping their idiosyncratic twists and turns to catch a breath.
Still, it’s the two guest MCs who are going to get much of the buzz here—scene mainstay FatRat da Czar sounds reinvigorated by the new territory of Tollack and Young’s beats, with his husky flow taking on a next texture in the reverb-y world of EDM. His wizened confidence sits somewhat uncomfortably next to Young’s pained vocals, but it somehow works to acknowledge the exciting distance the performance bridges. It’s a similar experience for Believe (Grand Prize Winner from Last Year), whose first verse on the opening cut “On” gradually builds the song to its riveting, dubstep-influenced climax, and then proceeds to skitter another verse over top of the throbbing riffs that constitute the song’s coda.
It’s not all pounding rhythms, though—WRLM try out everything here from spacey melodies and ambient white noise to clean dance grooves and genuine pop hooks over the course of these five songs, evincing a wide-eyed sense of adventure that should be fun to follow as the duo continues to evolve.” –Kyle Petersen
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