You’re first impulse when listening to araabMUZIK is likely to be a frantic reach for the volume knob as soon as the onslaught begins. The oft-repeated “if it’s too loud, you’re too loud” doesn’t apply, for anyone with a functioning set of ears the music is likely to be “too loud.” Drum beats emanating out of his famous MPC 2500 don’t kick so much as they pulverize. Girding the drums are low-end bass knocks that have all the pleasantry of a police battering-ram coming through your door at five in morning. While most DJ’s use their tag as an identifier, araabMUZIK’s “you are now listening to araabMUZIK” is a warning.
On “Blackout”, that warning comes in the middle of a no-man’s land, flanked by hypnotic chopped-up vocal cheers and screaming sirens. It swims between Scylla and Charybdis, and Greek mythology is all I can recall when those Spartan drums hit. The sound of 100,000 strong military marching in unison couldn’t replicate the volume of this one. Getting steamrolled is an undulating synthesizer whose snakelike patterns could soundtrack any number of horror flicks. When you tune out all the “noise”, you begin to get lost in the melodious earworm supplied here. Few current producers blend beauty and brutality as well as araabMUZIK, and if you turn it down you might just miss it.
“Blackout” is from the forthcoming For Professional Use Only 2, the sequel to early-Spring’s ferocious mixtape, and you can listen to the new track here.