Occupying a space adjacent to Massive Attack’s output circa Mezzanine, the intriguingly-named Warriors of the Dystotheque unleash Hashtag. The lead vocalist actually reminds of Massive Attack’s favoured vocalist Horace Andy, too. But that’s just a happy co-incidence, and also partly because of the way it’s been treated with reverb and delay.
There’s a dubby bass warming things up amongst stuttering, trippy percussion and (what sounds like) a bitcrushed psycho Rhodes sound, which come together to create a slightly intimidating, menacing atmosphere for the lead vocal to wander across. I presume the act’s name is an amalgamation of the words ‘Dystopian’ and ‘Discotheque’, and perhaps that’s why I interpret the music in this slightly darker light…
About two-thirds of the way through, the production becomes slightly less trippy and slightly more urgent; the bass pumps a little harder and louder and the soundscape intensifies. This brings the listener’s attention to focus on the signature sound of the piece – which is a heavily-treated syncopated vocal riff repeated hypnotically. Even when it ceases, to make way for the lead vocal, such is/was its presence that it feels like it’s still playing!
Then the track starts to break down, and a less treated vocal riff takes over and we get to focus on muted trumpet sounds and appreciate some more complex bass sounds which include some lovely organic fret noise and a very human performance that must have been previously hiding behind the mix.
All-in-all, it’s a heady concoction that lends itself to repeat listens. It’s hypnotic, confident, woozy and classy. And that’s got to be a mix worth checking out, right?