As the geopolitical world violently fragments, the global underground continues humming through digital networks in a ceaseless dialogue of sound, image, and attitude. And what is the attitude amongst the subterranean youth in Russia, the central actor in our apocalyptic vibe shift, and home of Locked Club? Months ago, statements against the war - now it is no longer safe to speak. We will have to feel their attitude instead.
Much has changed since Moscow duo Locked Club released their Irak EP on BNR in 2019, but aggressive, thoroughly Slav-punk electro remains at the core of their new It’s My Rave EP. The production is tighter, refined, showing more mastery over the deliberate distortion that's always present. And as always, there is the palpable raw energy, the attitude of the uninhibited, irreverent and adrenaline-fueled bodies that one sees mobbing Locked Club gigs in social media clips, always total, spectacle-filled, madness - the ultimate FOMO-bait. Locked Club are purist-approved, but like their fellow balaclava-clad Private Persons labelmates, pull no punches with their sneering, androgenic bangers. Hyping the tracks up in PR text feels futile - DJs will reach for the It’s My Rave EP at peak time, and DJs will wish they could get away with playing nothing but Locked Club in a set because it would make their job so easy.
The EP opens with "It's My Rave," a too-hot, breakbeat-tinged electro track with pummeling saturated kicks, a syncopated synth-line that makes your hair stand on end, and a feature from masked rap hero, a famed figure in Russia's witch-house informed underground rap scene, who provides crackling chants for the inevitable club shout-alongs to come. "Robotaet" follows, a hissy 4/4 EBM stomper with a flagellating acid line, horror pads, and a feature from Roman the Legend, who we know nothing about and seems not to exist on the internet. Private Persons' RLGN joins Locked Club for the slow and low "Electro Hund," another acid-breaks teeth-rattler with pressure chamber kicks and paranoia-inducing arpeggios. Closing the EP is "Dubai Girlfriend," upping the tempo to 150 bpm, radio cracks and broken kicks running underneath ticking time bomb hi-hats, ghostly warnings from gated voices alongside the futile attempts of an analogue synth to speak, as if straining, in desperation, to say something but finding yourself without a tongue. Regardless, Locked Club’s It’s My Rave EP tells us all we need to know.
1. Locked Club - It’s My Rave 2. Locked Club - Rabotaet ft. Roman The Legend 3. Locked Club - Electro Hund ft. RLGN 4. Locked Club - Dubai Girlfriend
July 21, 2022