New Orleans’ duo sfam face an interesting dilemma; every release presents the challenge to outmaneuver the singular, slinking weirdness of their last one.
On “cohesion,” they’ve raised the bar once again for sounds only they’re making.
“Experimental trap” would do this one a disservice. Artists in the Quality Good Records camp like Oski and UZ can break trap rhythms into something broken and evil, but on “cohesion,” sfam seem like they’re smirking as they smash any normal meter for a haunted tangle of breaks and cracks.
This creepy terror hurl is kept rock-solid through rhythm, the very thing it threatened to bend until it snaps. A lot like “dashigo” with TVBOO, the roll of bizarre creaks and zips is anchored by a fat plume of a bassline. It’s like they’re swearing they’re not going to let the experiment get out of hand like they’re leashing down this warped Frankenstein of a beat.
You’re kept on anxiety’s edge because you don’t know what nail-biting snare and hiss is going to hit you or from where. Strangely, it tumbles and resolves in a way that’s almost frustratingly cohesive, as promised. Sometimes all you hear is that damned snare leering at you, and the suspense is only relieved by the song ends.
Over a string of releases, particularly the “shadows” EP that we loved, the young duo has carved their niche for atmosphere, something that’s essential in standing out over the growing mill of fucked up noises out there. By cracking and locking with a take-no-prisoners vision, sfam are honing their edge razor sharp. With a constant tour presence, it’s satisfying to see their sound design get even more exacting and terrifying as well.
Fittingly, they said this of their new track:
“with bass music becoming so popular, it’s becoming more and more difficult to really stand out. we’ve been digging deep to bring you the most forward-thinking bass music we’re capable of producing. hope u dig ::)” -sfam
featured image: @jessehudson