- DJ Stingray has been comfortably consistent in recent years, and the Communications System EP offers yet more of the good stuff. This time around, though, the Detroit producer seems to be in an ambitious mood. The foundation of each track remains the same: anxious, high-speed electro beats that sound like the emergency systems of a space station whirring into life. But laid on top are rich currents of melody and harmony, guiding us through grandiose breakdowns and unexpected midpoint mood changes. The effect often stays just the right side of incoherence, as if Stingray had too many good ideas and tried to stuff them all into the track—one hand holds it all in, the other yanks frantically at the zipper.
The title track is the best, walking an intriguing line between clammy-palmed panic and something more melancholy. On "Lurker," huge string sweeps give way to noxious Drexciyan squelches in a similar play of moods. The shifts come suddenly, amplifying the tension in Stingray's music. "Ping" opens with a dialogue between cut-glass synth textures and gloopy ones, before a whole new bassline redirects us halfway through. Aubrey's remix of "Communications System" is faithful to the EP's spirit, reworking the track to create yet another epic—though he's not quite so deft with the arrangement.
A1 Communications System
B1 Ip Ping
B2 Communications System (Aubrey Remix)