While the conflict between Russia and the Ukraine has all but disappeared from the U.S. news cycle and high gas prices are being erroneously blamed on domestic politics, in Europe and Russia the real effects and tension are still very much being felt. For Agressor Bunx, the fraternal duo comprised of Nick and Alex who are from and half of whom are still living in Ukraine, the battle for freedom is also their daily reality.
Whether you’ve been following their struggle to live and create through this difficult era or you just found out that the brothers Bunx are from the embattled Ukraine, it should come as no surprise that the title of their upcoming EP on Eatbrain is Freedom. Due out this coming Monday, August 22 the celestial-themed cover art by ADAM is done in the colors of the Ukrainian flag. As a follow-up to their now almost eerily entitled Ensuing Cataclysm LP from last year, there can be no mistake where Agressor Bunx’s minds were while producing this EP. It would be impossible to ignore, and they don’t want us to.
Opening with “Cybertron,” an epic battle of sub synths itself, the duo come in hot and heavy on the neurofunk, which, let’s be honest: what better style is there for really laying down the anger, angst and metallic hell of war? Only perhaps the crunchy, deep bass darkstep-style noise of the next track, “System Crash.” Following that is the clawing cloying, teeth-grinding sub synth among hurricane synths that is “Inner Line.” Even with no conflict context, these tracks are designed not only to be aggressive and raw but emotive and almost heart wrenching. It might be some of Agressor Bunx’s best sound design to-date.
The emotion in the Freedom EP’s closer and title track that we’re premiering below is much more obvious, with a surprisingly melodic vocal intro and break as well as a harmonic synth combo that follows a syncopated snare. The break is also the musical equivalent to the EP’s cover art: celestial and peaceful. It also holds a surprise before the track ends: an ominous wind-up into the last bit followed by a backwards change-up from the opening beat with much heavier synths. The outro is also melodic and celestial, but there’s something more desolate there: the soul may have got its “Freedom,” but the cost of all that carnage still weighs heavy in the air.
With so much going on in the world, it’s easy to get compassion fatigue and shut out what others are going through far away. Agressor Bunx’s Freedom EP is here as a reminder of why it’s important to pay attention. There are real lives at the center of the Ukraine conflict, and real talented artists who want nothing more than to express themselves and make the world happy with their creations. This EP is also a twisted silver lining as it’s a beautiful and savage piece of art to come out of the situation. It makes Freedom, all the other artistic works coming from Ukraine and the artists themselves all the more precious. Listen and enjoy, but please also think of the people behind the music.
Freedom drops on Eatbrain Monday, August 22 on Beatport and Spotify exclusive. Pre-order here.