Feadz
Instant Alpha


3.5
great

Review

by Will Robinson STAFF
January 27th, 2014 | 14 replies


Release Date: 01/20/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A showcase of 808s.

Instant Alpha is consummately contemporary. Even the name promotes the album’s novelty - “instant alpha” seems to suggest something just released, some new product aimed at unsettling the current market. This “unsettling” is exactly what Feadz achieves on his newest effort, weaving a twisted journey through a forest of 808s while exploring intimidating, barely-charted regions of his loosely hip-hop-affiliated realm. The vitality of the album is easily explained by its wondrously effervescent demeanor - everything done here is done large. The vodka-saturated chords and mammoth, drug-addled claps and clicks of “Papercut” rush straight into the pensive, disorienting waves of synth leads in “Metaman,” demonstrating the pull-no-punches attitude Feadz employs.

Even the most accessible on Instant Alpha is loaded with edge. Take probable lead single “Electric Empire” and Kito’s swaggering vocals over the elaborately distorted lead synths. It’s representative of what big, thunderous trap should be in 2014 - we’re at the point where the market is so oversaturated with simplistic basslines and boring leads that a successful artist needs something cutting to establish himself. It’s what Feadz is aiming to do with Instant Alpha, and in general the loping synths color the project quite nicely - just look at the middle stretch, where the producer gallops past typically bland hip-hop beats into the realm of 808-driven house (“Instant Delta”) and footwork-esque kicks and claps (“Eastside”).

While at times the whole thing is a touch too gaudy for its own good (one can only listen to “Instant Beta” so many times in one sitting), in general Instant Alpha is characterized by how forward-thinking and varied Feadz’s beat treatment comes off. Really, the only thread tying the release together is the consistently large bass, whether forceful kicks or warped low end, and the splendid diversity of tracks the veteran producer has compiled reflects the producer’s confidence. The ravey “Wettex,” complete with quintessential ‘80s-house-styled soul vocals, is exemplary of the album’s impressive traversal of genres - as opposed to the jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none artist albums so prevalent in modern electronic music, Feadz understands his grounding in the scene and uses his vast knowledge of his surroundings to craft a transportive experience no matter the tempo of his booming kicks. Hell, even when he’s entering the unforgiving realm of scratch-centric hip-hop, Feadz still manages to give his frenetic breakbeats a prominent yet unintrusive position.

And, somewhat shockingly, the whole thing works. The grooving, shuffling “Eastside” sounds positively vivacious, destined for life on a blaring speaker system, and the penetrating “Marly” is a splendidly frenzied take on bangin’ rap beats. Though there’s just something off about the whole thing, as though it’s a collection of loosely tied songs instead of a comprehensive album, by and large Instant Alpha is a success. It will hopefully come as a necessary call to arms for the stagnating instrumental hip-hop sound, nudging it back to life, but even if it fails in that regard it’s still an admirable kickoff to what’ll hopefully be another jam-packed year of bass-heavy dance music.



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user ratings (6)
Chart.
3.1
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
Brostep
Staff Reviewer
January 26th 2014


3563 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Eastside: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeFxraz5plw
Papercut: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kyg3hr17DmU

Def check this out if you're into dancing like an idiot

Digging: Nicki Minaj - The Pinkprint

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
January 26th 2014


4460 Comments


Good review, Will. I gave "Papercut" a listen, and I particularly liked the sections where the verses are the center focus. I feel like when the beats are there to mainly compliment the vocals, they seem to have a right amount of crazy and catchy. but when they go off on their own, it just sounds.... eh. I don't know. It's like it's trying to be eccentric or something, and rather than being interesting in those moments, it's just comes off as kind of gimmicky and bland (but, then again, I'm still new to this type of music).

I'll give the other tracks listen, maybe it sinks in as time passes.

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
January 27th 2014


3563 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah, it's definitely eccentric to an extent but also pretty gaudy and as you say a little gimmicky. Eastside is a little better though

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
February 3rd 2014


6515 Comments


Is Ed Banger still alive?



Brostep
Staff Reviewer
February 3rd 2014


3563 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Hanging on by a thread if this is any indication

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
February 3rd 2014


6515 Comments


"This" meaning the quality of the album, or the amount of responses this has got? :p

In either case, I listened to the clips but I really can't be excited by this stuff anymore. Except maybe with the help of alcohol...

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
February 3rd 2014


3563 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I mean it's pretty fun stuff but maybe I just haven't heard enough Ed Banger shit

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
February 4th 2014


6515 Comments


SebastiAn's album from way back was pretty great. And Lamb's Anger. You should dig those.

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
February 4th 2014


3563 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Have Total on my iPod but haven't really given it a real listen, from what I heard it's pretty sweet though. And obviously Cross is quite good

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
February 4th 2014


6515 Comments


I meant Ross Ross Ross actually. Never was a big fan of Cross tbh. I always preferred Oi Oi Oi and Idealism, or in other words, the German "successors of Daft Punk".

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
February 4th 2014


3563 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Oi Oi Oi kicks so much ass, it's amazing. And I know Zdarlight off Idealism which is such a damn good song

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
February 7th 2014


3563 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

http://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/19003-feadz-instant-alpha/

a wild Pitchfork appeared!

HighandDriving
March 12th 2014


3288 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great album. Feadz new track with Big Dope P goes too ham.

SalteyBacon
March 15th 2014


23 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

The evolution of Ed Banger has gone from Electro House to almost an Indie Pop/Electronica. After the main release of Breakbot's By Your Side (fantastic by the way), the label did a world tour in two years (to celebrate the ten year anniversary of the label). They also released a Justice Live album, and a compilation in 2013, with announcing this album and A few other names. In terms of Ed Banger being dead, I would hold off on that notion. Mr. Oizo and Mr. Flash announced an album to release this year with other artists in the studio.

If any release by the label this year is bad, then we can suggest that the label is dead.

Digging: Chromeo - White Women



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