It seems that when HEKLER and WHIPPED CREAM made the decision to come together and give us their Mirrors EP, they temporarily forgot what genres were.
And we are so much the better for that.
From the first titular track to the very end, Mirrors EP is an immersive journey of epic proportions. You never fully recognize this unique bass heavy atmosphere you are given. It has elements of the EDM landscape that you’ve been used to the last few months, but it is certainly in a world of its own.
Sure, you can find a hint of Dubstep here and a touch of Trap there. But the beauty of this EP is that it transitions through all these different styles so much, so flawlessly that you no longer care to try and classify it. It stands without the backing of any distinct movement or trend as safety, and it stands mighty tall.
A Closer Look:
The introductory track of the EP does a great job introducing the borderless work. With the interactive track Mirrors, we start with light high pitched synths and a few pads and a vocal chop looped to give us a serene atmosphere. This atmosphere is suddenly jolted by some impactful orchestral drums which wake you up and serve as a warning of the intensity that is to come for the entire EP from this point onwards.
We next get a bass-less mini drop with future bass inspired choppy chords (which, like almost every section of every song on this EP, could be expanded into its own full length song). Lush, but a little empty feeling, this section teases you perfectly. It leaves you craving the down on the floor bass that it holds back. The beauty of the melodies start to no longer suffice for the lack of bass, until finally you hear it; the drums initiating the build up, building tension for the true drop.
You then realize that what you might have thought was a slightly lackluster drop was actually an expertly played game of seduction crafted by HEKLER and WHIPPED CREAM. Having starved you of bass, save the kick, they finally deliver it with the first drop.
And boy do they deliver.
Having created the pretense of a greater need for bass, HEKLER and WHIPPED CREAM create one of the most satisfying drops I have heard in a while. Pure, unadulterated bass, the closest thing to a high frequency synth being an incredibly gritty distorted synth that rides just over the bass. There are a sprinkle of snare hits flavoring the drop. A synthetic growl repeated at the end of every bar. A vocal chant comes in half way through, introducing an incredibly primal feel to the track
They created a craving of bass out of beautiful chords and then gave us the exact treat we craved, allowing us to have our cake and eat it too with an impressively coordinated structure.
We are lead out into a break, where the song gives us the familiarity of the structure it gave us for the first drop (notably the only song on the entire EP to do so) while giving it new flavor. The future chords come back, but this time even fuller than before, no longer with the choppier patterns we were given at the start. Not only do they get a fuller feel from this, but we already know this time what is coming next, so it makes the section even more enjoyable than the first. When that second drop finally comes, it comes with entirely new synths and patterns. It still favoring the extreme bass we received in the first drop, but trades the grit of the first drop for a more distinct bouncier synth, with string-like synths replacing the growl we received in the last drop.
The song draws to a close giving us a darker, longer rendition of the intro. For the first time since we started this EP we become aware of the fact that we are no longer on familiar turf: We are now in HEKLER and WHIPPED CREAM’s world, and the rules that we are familiar with in our own musical worlds are present, but stand second to the rules of Mirrors.
After listening to this EP 3 times in a row, I was immediately compelled to get in contact with these artists and get an insider’s perspective on who they saw their work. Here are a couple of questions they answered:
Q1: Where are you two based out of?
HEKLER: I am originally from Las Vegas.
WHIPPED CREAM: Vancouver Island, Canada.
Q2:Who are some of the artists you draw inspiration from in your works?
HEKLER: Noisia has had a huge impact on my sound. Just the overall intensity they bring with their sound design completely blew my mind when I first discovered them years ago.
WHIPPED CREAM: Alon Mor, Boys Noize , RL , Baauer & Skrillex .. the club producers, like sliink, wuki, and honestly the most inspiring to me are the upcoming producers who are making new innovative shit.
Q3: I know you two have worked together before, on the track Icarus. What brought you together, and what inspired you to make a full EP together?
HEKLER: Well I’ve known whipped cream for about a year and a half now and we were always really good friends then one day we were talking and just came up with the idea of switching up what we usually make and create an EP that is completely out of our comfort zones.
WHIPPED CREAM: I think we were just attracted to each other’s sound. It was beautiful what we created together. The EP and Icarus.
Q4: One of my favorite parts of this EP is how it seems to transcend genres almost entirely. What inspired the sound and overall feel for the EP? What genre, if any, were you two going for?
HEKLER: I’m really glad that the EP came across in that way. Honestly we never intended to aim for a specific genre when we first started. It was kind of a “let’s sit down start a tune and not look back type of vibe”.
WHIPPED CREAM: Not sure you can pin that question down nor were we wanting you to be able to. It was just about making fresh music.
Q5: Will we see any more collaborations between you two in the future?
HEKLER: HEKLER: You will have to see. As of now I know we both have a tremendous amount of music and projects on our plates so when that time comes back around you already know I’m down.
WHIPPED CREAM: Yeah of course
Q6: What artists do you two listen to the most right now?
HEKLER: I really enjoy listening to Ekali, REZZ, k?d and medasin a lot right now. I love all of their styles and how distinct they are. That’s how I really want people to feel about my music as well. Being able to out of the blue say hey… that’s a new Hekler tune.
And of course, the most important question:
Q7: Should McDonalds bring back the Mulan Szechuan Teriyaki Dipping Sauce?
HEKLER: Only if they bring back 20 piece nuggets for $3.29.
WHIPPED CREAM: If the people want it, yes they should.