dltzk: fragility album review | fork


In the first moments of “your clothes”, extract from the first album of dltzk Fragility, a sultry guitar riff seems to melt and reshape like a synth. Under the hood of her frayed emo and shoegaze, Fragility is full of those little shimmering details that turn out like Easter eggs in a role-playing game. It is a vast and transformative disc which, like its predecessor Teen Week, redefines the parameters of “digicore” by drawing the instincts of the young producer and composer from New Jersey into new territory. It’s guitar music created by obsessed Skrillex and Porter Robinson, a snowy landscape of reds and oranges. Inside the most written songs, you can feel that producer brain, the meticulous tinkerer aiming to hit your pleasure centers with critical hits. This is easily one of the most ambitious works to emerge from this nascent online scene to date.

In the world of internet music, stories are scrawled quickly and genres come and go like seasons. Even though dltzk’s EP Teen Week only released in February, it has already been hailed by fans as an important digicore work, not least because digicore was still on the hunt for a definitive record. You could advocate for a shortlist of essential singles, and maybe 1000 guys and Bladee Ice dancer as sacred texts. Corn Teen week charted a way forward. He rocked the youthful chaos and made the case for digicore as a high-stakes, immersive art form with a lot more ground to cover. Some stretches traded the harsh breakbeats for sweet 16-bit passages with thoughtfully sung lyrics about the kinds of things a high school Zoomer struggles with: comparing themselves to their peers, feeling uncomfortable at home. , spend days in quarantine looking at a phone.

Fragility follows the intuition of those slower, more desperate moments, especially Teen Weekthe grungy outro “seventeen”. Her opening track, “goldfish”, is a contour line “Nikes” – a pure, unadorned emo that centers dltzk’s voice. This mode isn’t exactly unique, but it works well with the album‘s blurry mixing and writing, which sucks someone through the suburban memories of Six Flags and Tree Forts.

But thinking of the individual songs on Fragility betrays the form of the album. Fragility works like a fluid substance and its tracks blur with fluid transitions. dltzk approaches emo through the prism of EDM and dubstep, evoking ascents and descents, deceptive accumulations and vertiginous falls accompanied by digital explosions and crushed screams. These genres intermingle and inform each other in adventurous ways, such as the climax of the “research party”, where a huge guitar cuts off intermittently like a DJ slamming the volume slider during a rave.

Despite its dark themes and textures, there is room to dance to almost any song. For what seriousness Teek week and Fragility get out, dltzk is not a condemned teenager; Perhaps their defining moment of the year is inventing a glorious microgenus of crappy Jersey club mashups called dariacore. This absurd style occasionally creeps in, like the mini-dysfunction in the middle of the ‘kodak moment’. And it’s easy to get lost in the electronic hailstorms that dot the devastating “guy movies”, which plunge the 2009 Top 40 into liquid nitrogen before giving up the idea altogether, matching dltzk’s complicated feelings for one. crush who won’t accept them for who are they.

On the other hand, the emo haze of this record envelops everything in haze. The electronics on the devastating “field” seem small and cold, a dltzk soundtrack shuddering, lying in the snow. They remind me of the pastoral Pokémon-type blips and bloops that dltzk played with on Teen week. In fact, between songs like “champ”, “how to lie” and “let’s go home”, a certain listener may find solace and nostalgia in FragilityJRPG comfort.

Maybe dltzk’s forays into this genre seem stilted, if not downright bad at times. Corn Fragility sounds less like cosplay than new worlds oozing from a digital abyss. Since its emergence from the SoundCloud churn, digicore has continually been confronted with an ontological question: what exactly is this? Is it a scene? A gender ? Is it rap? Hyperpop? With Fragility, dltzk argues that digicore is a methodology, a way to understand new forms with an existing toolkit. The closest comparison may be Porter Robinson’s 2014 album Worlds, which applied the language of dance music to synth-pop. But where this album was born from exhaustion with the EDM festival, Fragility is less cynical. It looks like a teenager peeking through new doors, discovering new ways of expression, discovering himself and his sound.

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