Enlisting aliases is also a tricky game for artists, a virtual DNA split that can have unforeseen effects on popularity, but can also elicit irrational hatred on the part of fan bases and the media. Granted, most aliases, whether kept secret or not, eventually go by the wayside and while its a pleasure to look at Girl Unit’s Hysterics or Shed’s numerous projects as successes, the truth of the matter is that these side-projects fail far more often than they work out. Russian producer Nikita Frolov aka Fisky makes the sort of post-Night Slugs, post-Hyperdub, post-Planet Mu club music that ignores genre boundaries, not as a statement, but as a basis of their understanding of the music itself. With tracks out on Helsinki-based Top Billin and Moscow-based Hyperboloid, Frolov has begun to build up his catalogue, churning out fast, mechanical efforts that draw upon Jersey club, ballroom and late era Dance Mania for inspiration. Frolov’s latest effort is out now on Infinite Machine as Roller Truck and, if anything, represents a parring down of his influences into a concise, percussive bundle.
The Roller Truck Sounds Vol. 1 EP comes in an six originals and, with a few exceptions, is almost entirely made up of drum sounds, eliciting the work of Steve Poindexter, Robert Armani and, more recently, Helix. Its unrelenting in nature and while the tracks are mostly four-on-the-floor, they borrow from myriad influences past and present. Considering that Frolov’s work as both Fisky and Roller Truck is heavily percussive, borrows from numerous eras and can widely be described as club music, it might be difficult for a non-discerning onlooker to tell the difference between the two projects, but that’s exactly what makes them so fan. Lacking a grand statement or stylistic derivation, Roller Truck is allowed to exist on its own merits and the EP is a startlingly immediate effort. Frolov’s Roller Truck mix for us draws on numerous percussive foundations, from the gqom stylings of DJ Lag to classic Detroit techno and electro from Rhythim is Rhythim. 90s style New York house, Ghanean kora music, UK funky and early Latin house also play into the mix, an enormously fun journey through era and geography that belies the stringent, utilitarian nature of Roller Truck Sounds. And while the mix could probably function just as well under the Fisky pseudonym, its fun to imagine its constituent elements making up the fabric of the Roller Truck sound.