It’s been fun this year to watch Hybris do pretty much whatever the hell he wants with his burgeoning Pseudoscience imprint. Thus far the label has mostly only released Hybris EPs, with a surprise coming in the form of the Dots EP by MVRK in June. That’s not to say, however, the ride with Pseudoscience has been boring or even singular. As one of the most innovative and fun producers on the scene, Hybris can always keep D&B fans interested.
Enter: Not Bug, the EP that talks like a sentient AI cat meme and might end up just as viral. The EP is aimed at total bass-based experimental brain scrambling, and it definitely delivers. With teaser language like, “Sound make u discomfort? Is not bug, is feature! I no make mistake, I make innovate. NOTHING IS BUG. EVERYTHING IS FEATURE,” Not Bug is designed to set listeners off their feet before even listening The actual “feature” music continues that unease of encountering a potentially non-human life form making drum & bass.
True to its tease, the title track of Not Bug is glitchy and blippy and experimental, with a full 10 seconds of digital feedback before any other element comes in. The “song” is halfway over before anything representing a D&B beat can be recognized, but all those glitches and bleeps and bloops are still somehow extremely entertaining. While one’s brain is trying to find order and logic in the track, it’s still highly musical, although said music sounds a bit like someone dumped Tangerine Dream, Kraftwerk and Phillip Glass into a blender with a bunch of microchips and code and then added a bass beat to the resulting mess.
The rest of the tracks on Not Bug are a little more recognizably drum and bass, but they’re no less frenetic and digitally derived. Endlessly fun from a tech nerd’s standpoint yet still danceable, it sounds from Not Bug like Hybris was more excited than anyone about the return of techstep this year than anyone. If he keeps making these fun, blippy tracks while experimenting with different formats, Hybris may spurn D&B into a full-on tech takeover. Just remember, “Is not bug, is feature!” Don’t do a discomfort.
Not Bug by Hybris is out today, December 12 on Pseudoscience Recordings. While it’s still showing as pre-order on Beatport, the full EP can be streamed and purchased on the Pseudoscience Bandcamp page.