After a reasonably quiet year, Gantz returns with the “Dying on Acid” EP, echoing demons of Dark Souls, ambient tonalities and a textural plethora. Serving tracks between infernal shards and poignant harmonies, Gantz mixes some of his old techniques with progressive ideas. Destroying the tendency of structural production, he creates an uncompromised selection of tracks free from form limitation.
Gantz opens the EP sketching back the sounds of “Elmo Rehab” with extended arpeggio, repeating itself throughout the piece. The motif, consequently continues its ostinato, building the tension driven by shifting harmonies and powerful bass glides. The soothing, swirling vocal of Elif Dikec, sends the track from a present perspective into the ethereal layers in the first part of “Fugazi”. The repeating theme lifts the track into sudden dispersion within a cold, infernal soundscape of Oceiros sample. The second part of side A is taken by “Shivy”, with Gantz’ signature dark witchery. Graced by D£DW8’s verses, the track enters the recent field of crossroads between bass music and lyrical styles. The collaboration of these 3 makes it into one of the most cryptic tracks to be played on a dubstep rave. It couldn’t be complete without church organs juxtaposing chimes that flip the track half way through into a demonic triplet waltz.
“Dying On Acid” is a progressive, textural suite, which shows a slightly different tonal spectrum of Gantz’ creations. The soft, ambient polyphonies reminded me of a Scandinavian glitch and ambient tendencies from the edge of the millenium. The second part of the composition delivers a rich landscape, occasionally side-chained to the rhythm. The driven motif, then breaks at the (LSD influenced) “monochromatic world” sample disintegrating between metallic echoes and reminiscent tones. If usually we can tell that Gantz mastered his textural collage techniques, in “Dying On Acid” he also shows his skill of using the emotional power of repetition, shaping the complete emotive landscape of a story in just under six and half minutes. On “Sharkeyes” Gantz teams up with Rider Shafique, one of the most soul stirring lyricists in sound system music. Complimenting that fact, the production rambles in the low end, as much as leaves space for Shafique’s bright and harmonic voice in the middle. The track doesn’t terrify, but awes with the choice of chords, meaningful lyrics and resonant drones. The low BPM and sparse percussions paired with Riders vocal, make for a contemplative warning dub.
“Dying On Acid” juggles between different spheres of emotions, between darkest mystic depths through to intimate whispers, jittered by episodes of white noise. The intertwining of different layers and dissident form sums up to a mastery of forward-thinking production in the context of a still structurally limited dubstep world. The use of samples throughout the EP makes integral sense creating Gantz’s own musical macrocosm of witchcraft, demons, and intoxication.