FxG3000 – Fax Gang

I suppose cloud rap’s next logical step would be this kind of sound. Trance-inspired beats that callback to the early 2000s with bitcrusher effects that condense the vocals and beat so tightly together so that they become indistinguishable. This style of sound has emerged from the SoundCloud scene over the past few years in a genre called HexD that pitches up the vocals so high they sound like chipmunks while distorting the production to achieve a split feeling of nostalgia and futurism. Taking influence from digicore, hyperpop, and cloud rap acts like Reptilian Club Boyz, the genre has generated plenty of attention in online music circles.

While the guys behind Fax Gang are certainly not the originators of this sound, they have managed to take it in an interesting direction. FxG3000 is purposely cutesy with its upbeat, icey synths that are reminiscent of tread beats but the drums are absolutely pounding when condensed with the crusher effects. It’s a weird juxtaposition: anime-inspired dance sounds that are straight out of DDR that get distorted beyond recognition. Like a lot of cloud rap, the atmosphere always prevails over vocals as the lyrics and flows take a backseat (or in this case blend together) to the production. That said, there are a few moments where vocalist PK Shellboy feels lacking. Requiring less from your vocals doesn’t mean it’s less important and much of the empty spaces between the vocals in FxG3000 don’t feel like they’re being used well. Ad-libs or bridges would have nicely brought the songs full circle and despite the intention of the artists, some of the effects obscure the music so much that listeners can no longer differentiate anything. FxG3000 feels almost claustrophobic at times in the way the bitcrushed effects effectively swallow the entire sound whole. Whether the HexD trend continues to grow remains to be seen but Fax Gang have certainly proven themselves to be more than capable of navigating the sheer wall of noise that dominates FxG3000.

Must Listens: Breathe2 (In/Out), Jeopardy


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I turned my incoherent ramblings on music, anime, and video games into an entire blog.

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