Release art courtesy of the label
Warsaw-based producer and Intruder Alert crew member, B.YHZZ, has shared his exhilaratingly taxing debut EP on Montréal/Mexico City imprint Infinite Machine, and we at THUMP are delighted to be streaming it in full. Contra finds itself at the intersection of two very different strands of hardcore music: the punk-derived known for its sweaty mosh pits, on the one hand, and the gut-wrenching, stimulant-clogged club variety on the other. While on the surface this might suggest a forced attempt at crossover, the results speak for themselves, pairing an intuition for brevity and intensity with carefully programmed collages of noise, foley sound effects, and blisteringly pent-up beats.
In March, NAAFI affiliate Lao, PTP affiliate Endgame, and Russian trio WWWINGS teamed up on Infinite Machine to share the mischievous and optic single "Pray."
THUMP spoke to the Polish artist via email about the scene in Poland, what draws him to such an intense sound palate, and the dynamics of Intruder Alert, which also features producers I M M U N E and GRAŃ.
THUMP: On this record you find overlap and slippage between precisely calibrated, harder club sounds and undiluted noise. It's a variation on a sound palate that more and more producers are working with in the last couple years—what draws you to it? Why do you think it's having a moment?
B.YHZZ: I think this combination best represents people's emotions and how they feel about the current state of the world. It's frustration and anger that speak through those hard and harsh sounds, it's the "WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON ARE YOU KIDDING ME" type of sounds, overlapped with some subtle, gentle ones. It allows you to find that perfect balance where you can express your anger and still have fun dancing with friends.
What's your relationship to the music scene in Poland like? What are some of your favorite eras/scenes/sounds in music history?
I don't really follow the Polish music scene but there are two exceptions. My brother's band (they play hc/emo) and LSO in my opinion best Polish rapper. While working on Contra I was listening to a lot of Kenji Kawai's music. Like every single night I would ride a city bike around Centrum listening to the Ghost in the Shell soundtrack. Warsaw is pretty cyberpunk at night.
What was your goal with making this EP? What sorts of ideas or feelings did you want to bring to it? Or was it less premeditated and more viscerally guided.
When it comes to sound of Contra it's just the result of those emotions I mentioned earlier, I didn't fight them, I decided to make use of them and I made some wave files.
I wanted to arrange tracks that would have that raw punk energy but still you can mix them with Young Thug and play them in a club. I personally been always attracted to this hard and rough palette of sounds, not only in club music but generally in music so the overall sound of Contra came to me naturally.
Can you explain your production alias? Is there any meaning behind it?
The name B.YHZZ is just a modified version of an alias I used to have for some other (non-music) projects back in the day. Actually it was ENDGAME who came up with the 'be-wise' pronunciation, he read my name like that on his Precious Metals radio show a few months ago and I loved it so much that I decided to keep it like that. I guess I should credit him every time I say my alias!
Tell us about Intruder Alert. How did you all meet each other, and what defines your approach as a crew?
Intruder Alert is a club night I run with Dawid (I M M U N E) and Kacper (GRAŃ). We started it cause there was no parties that would play the music that we like in Warsaw.
It's either techno or post-ironic-gabber-meme parties here. We felt like we don't belong to any of these so, classic story, we had to make or own. We been doing it since last year, we had parties with Chino Amobi and Abyss X and next month we are having one with EAVES.
Contra is out now on Infinite Machine.
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