Mellon Collie and the Infinite SICKNESS Cypher – 5G4B (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

Woah! This is certainly a track which gets right down to business. No softening up, no gentle easing in, just a sonic salvo powerful enough to knock you across the room. Still, if you are going to make a fast, first impression, why not just come out swinging? And that is exactly what happens on the gloriously named Mellon Collie and the Infinite SICKNESS Cypher. Straight in at the sonic deep end, mixing intense hip-hop grooves, raucous boy-girl rap interchanges, Afro-beat rhythms, swirling electronica and all manner of other musical moves and motifs.

As is ever the case with 5G4B’s creations, they are intricate, complex, byzantine even, and if you are new to this world you could be forgiven for thinking that you have somehow set two songs running at the same time. But slowly you realise that everything which is happening is in harmony…of sorts. Sometimes it is the harmony of chaos and collision, sometimes a smoother musical arrangement, but the point is that everything that is playing out before you is planned, designed to complement even when the ideas are exploding in many directions at once.

If rock music has its heavy metal extremes, a place where speed, weight and technicality are more important than accessibility, 5G4B is the EDM/hip-hop equivalent. Sure, he could produce an easier going, danceable, mass-appeal dance tune, but where is the fun in that? It would be like asking Dali to paint your house, or Milton to write your shopping list! No, this is an artist that revels in the depth and complexities of the task at hand and someone who puts the onus on the listener to meet him at least halfway.

At over eight minutes, the song shifts through a number of gears…all of them high, but as the beat pattern changes and the dynamic of the song shifts, this feels like a sonic journey, always intense, often relentless but a journey none the less. The first three minutes run on a recognisable hip-hop groove before doubling up into a more incendiary drum and bass attack and the song alternates between the two before morphing into its own hybrid patterns as it head for its conclusion and eventually seems to burn out and grind to a halt under its own weight.

Some music is made to be listened to and thrown away when the next fad or fashion rears its head. Other music is there to be appreciated and considered. 5G4B goes even further and his music, this track especially, feels almost like something that needs to be studied and discussed. After all, it seems at times to only follow the rules when it can follow all the rules at the same time, testing the limits of how heavy music can be before it turns into something else altogether.

Then again the best music is always found on the periphery. Mainstream music might make you feel, 5G4B sets out to make you think too, and when have we never needed more of that in the world?

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