X CLUB. impress again with frenetic, turbo-charged ‘Active Denial Systems’ EP
Hot on the heels of a raucous tour which included multiple sold out dates and two epic warehouse raves in their home of Meanjin/Brisbane, our favourite turbo duo X CLUB. are once again back with a vengeance with their new release. Titled ‘Active Denial Systems’ and out via 1∅PILLSMATE, this four-track EP sees X CLUB. capitalise on techno, rave, grime, breaks, drum & bass and more to make a sonic statement that they are a serious force to be reckoned with.
Having torn through our minds and ears thanks to their Steel City Dance Discs debut just a few weeks ago, X CLUB. have proven with this latest release they still have so much to show. Building on the impressive foundation they laid with tracks like ‘6 Million Ways To Die’ and ‘Psychopath’, they keep things well and truly full throttle as they things off with the escapist bliss of ‘Turning A Blind Eye To This Nonsense’. An almost unsuspecting drone of tinkering beats might lull you into a false sense of security, but sure enough the boys descend into a full rave moment complete with sirens, a thudding base line and meticulous hi hats.
They don’t let up as they move into the acid-tinged ‘Silo’, a collaboration with Mutant Joe, which wastes absolutely no time in getting right down to business. With a pulverising, relentless thud underpinning synth whirs and swirls and percussive stabs, ‘Silo’ proves X CLUB. are just as formidable in a collaborative sense as they are in their own lane, with Mutant Joe rising to the occasion to make for a true stand out in this 8-minute behemoth.
Lead single ‘Beta Rays’ kicks off the B side, with a hypnotic melody interwoven into the frenetic fray. It’s utterly relentless, but with an insatiable drive to reach an emotive new height intrinsically displayed throughout, with a yearning for true liberation maintained as the song rises and falls. Described by the boys as one of their favourite tracks to date, it’s easy to see why. An assured step away from what we’ve come to expect from them, ‘Beta Rays’ sets the scene for just how far X CLUB. can go in terms of diversifying their sound, while also demonstrating an impressive ambition to continue to push their craft well beyond what might be easily predicted. Intelligent and powerful, we hope there is plenty more where this one came from.
Wrapping up in style with ‘300mbps’ — an all-out, drum & bass influenced, sonic assault — X CLUB. waste no time in proving again why they are worthy of all the buzz surrounding them at the moment (we named them Artists to Watch in 2021 for this reason). They’re worthy of it, and with their out of this world live shows and continued display of pushing themselves to try new things with each and every release, it’s a pretty safe bet to say that well-deserved buzz is sure to grow. And, when the tunes sound this good, we certainly aren’t complaining!
Active Denial Systems is out now via 1∅PILLSMATE.
X CLUB. are performing this weekend alongside Skin on Skin, StacEMP and Chanel Deejay in Warrane/Sydney on Friday, June 11. It’s sold out, like most X CLUB. shows, so keep up to date with their future dates here.
Words by Emma Jones
Image: Brodie Charters