While everyone’s favorite metalhead ent producer spent most of the pandemic and a few years prior really establishing his own imprint, Trendkill Records, 2022 saw Prolix coming back to his usual diversified schedule. He released a remix on Bad Taste and an original track with Gridlok called “Immortal” on the Optiv Origins tribute series on C4C. He’s mostly been hanging with multi-genre multi-instrumentalist Celldweller and his ever-expanding FIXT label with three crossover tracks there. Now with the entree of 2023, there’s seemingly loads more to come for Prolix, starting with his upcoming “Zombies”/Maniac” release on Eatbrain. Strap in, kids.
With the rash of metal and screamo-inspired D&B and dubstep that’s been inundating the scene lately, Prolix still does it better than most artists dabbling in this crossover style. He’s certainly a pioneerin merging metal and D&B, as he’s been doing it so long it seems like second nature now. It’s a delicate balance to strike and it usually shows up in subtle yet unmistakable ways for Prolix: the speed of the drums, an underlying chugger of synth either representing a rhythm guitar or taken from an actual sample and the aggressive sound design all make his style what it is.
After all these more experimental tracks in 2022, “Zombies” and “Maniac” are two tracks that could only have been bound for Eatbrain. Almost too neuro for neuro, that unique metal edge is well hidden in some of Prolix’s most aggressive composition to-date. Clearly meant to go together, the singles are typified by an evil chugger of a synth written in an interesting register and a timbre which almost sounds like digitally scrambled screams or barks.
In “Maniac,” the synth line pattern goes with the title as said digital pseudo-vox synths sound like someone who has gone barking mad. The classic Prolix hyper-fast time run is there in both tracks without benefit of spiral snares and is especially vibey in “Maniac.” It’ll be one of those tracks in Prolix’s sets where audiences won’t be able to tell when it’s mixed in or out but there will be an elevation of aggression and energy so good, the punters will come away thinking they dreamed it.
For a-side “Zombies,” there’s a fun, camp 60s horror movie element that runs through the break and phrase transitions and the chuggy synths are there to support it. With actual samples from zombie classics and those sinister early alien and horror film stings, there’s a lighter and jumpier tone to this track versus its b-side. The dancefloor, some would say jump up-style beat helps to achieve this, but there’s no dearth of heavy aggression in that crunchy synth in the main track. It’s syncopated in a way that makes it sound almost like someone’s talking. Prolix pulls the vox samples into the beat in an interesting way, not always doing mini-drops or breakdowns at the major phrase transitions but sort of merging everything so it’s one continuous line. It’s not only a neuro banger, but an interesting piece technically. That’s Prolix, for you.
With more coming down the Prolix pipeline in 2023 (including a remix album of his 2019 Blackout release Murder Mile), it seems safe to say that it’s going to be a year of mind-blowing bass and more than a few surprises from D&B’s tallest legend. Would-be metal/rave fusionists should take note: Prolix is still the reigning champ of fats, aggressive bass.
“Zombies”/”Maniac” drops on January 27 on Eatbrain. Click here for pre-order.