In our year end round-up for FACT Magazine, we noted the tumultuous nature of the past half-decade in club music. Hyper-localized scenes have been opened up to the global internet with their original intent and cultural context often lost in the process. The positive side of that coin is that dozens of scenes have popped up in locales that previously had no space for the sort of aggressively non-conformist composition, inventive mixing, and freewheeling booking policies that club music brings.
That many of those scenes have gone on to develop their own distinct sound, beyond or outside of the zeitgeist, only lends credence to the music’s emancipatory potential. Warsaw’s Intruder Alert, a crew/label/night founded in 2015 and run by B.yhzz, GRAŃ, I M M U N E and KRY, has been a shining light during that period, growing from the city’s first outpost for left field sounds from abroad into a label with its own sound, visual language and ethos.
B.yhzz has been IA’s foremost ambassador over the past few years, releasing two standout EPs for Infinite Machine, 2016’s Contra and 2017’s Via, and developing a sound wrought out of organic production methods and keen ear for emotive micro-movements. At the time, IA was booking artists like Chino Amobi, Coucou Chloe, Kamixlo and Swan Meat and Contra and Via reflect that interfacing, embracing cacophony while riffing on familiar rhythmic patterns.
2016’s BURST;BATTLE, a collaboration with Lyon’s My Sword and the first official release on IA, also featured an acceptance of hybridity, pushing a non-linear, saccharine take on hardcore at its noisiest. It was Rejection, Blessing LP, released in June of this year on IA, where B.yhzz’s sound reached an idiosyncratic bliss though, diverging entirely from the dancefloor and towards a grandiose, multi-dimensional take on noise.
Rejection, Blessing followed a series of self-releases exploring similar themes and extrapolated on the sonics built out on Contra and Via, but the album emerged as a startlingly realized vision, only tangentially connected to the functional dance music envisioned in previous work. Songs like “Sealed Head” and “Two Rooms” are sprawling efforts with a distinctly cyborgian ethos, the sound of human flesh struggling for recognition in its machinic environment.
The turn towards abstraction and storytelling is reflected in IA’s output as well with recent releases from Bgknb, Ditchdog and Lily Kane all exploring divergent internal worlds that tend to seep into the inner lining of your consciousness with each re-listen. B.yhzz’s Astral Plane Mix takes a similar tact, drawing on the sort of organic and electro-acoustic noise patterns found throughout IA’s recent material to create a disconcerting, all-enveloping collage.
Musique concrète, sound art and whale songs are situated next to recent IA material in an increasingly dense tar pit that culminates in a passage of forceful techno overlaid with a gorgeous, minimalist piece by Charlemange Palestine. B.yhzz and IA have only been a part of the global conversation for a few years now, but the crew’s inward turn of late has been fruitful and it will exciting to watch them build out on the themes introduced in 2018. Download Astral Plane Mix 180 here and hit the jump for a full track list.