bblisss specialists special guest dj and Ben Bondy’s Berlin/Brooklyn duo, xphresh, debut a lush volley of shatterproof jungle accelerators and RPG intrigued illbient beatdown on the newly minted 3XL division of Experiences Ltd, finding a gaseous spot somewhere between DJ Crystl’s pioneering ambient hardcore and NWAQ x Final Fantasy.
‘xephon’ is a dream fusion by two distinctive, dextrous catalysts of the current flux between dance and ambient poles. In five shots they careen from sublime junglist tension to subaquatic dub wooze, disembodied shoegaze and cyberpunk illbient gunk with a wickedly unresolved, fractal quality that’s a real pleasure to sink into. As pillars of a scene that’s emerged and helped reshape, displace definitions of “ambient” and “dance” music over the past few years in particular, their collision of energies here feels to model a lush form of quantum mechanics; evoking the sensation of existing in multiple states of emotional and physical excitement simultaneously.
Scaling between the gyring junglist roil of its title track and the post-club gouch out of ‘eikon’, xphresh hit squarely between their dilated 3rd eyes with a proper, rushy thizz. The ephemeral ballistics of ‘xephon’ are effectively congealed into the charged sot-dubstep plasma of ‘myst’, while ‘luh’ passes out into radiant choral bliss on the “up” side, contrasting with a deep sink into the queasy belly of 4 Hero’s Macro Dub Infection all-timer 'The Paranormal In 4 Forms’ on ‘scum break’, before they yield to the mazy emotional rip currents of their closing beauty. At each stage it’s easy to pick out their reference points, but their natural ambiguity and restless style means their coordinates are never fixed, always in search of an elusive ghost particle that’s in the shine-eye of the beholder.