- Overwhelming experimental club tracks.
- The video for HXE's new EP shows the UK duo running around what looks like an abandoned factory. They worked on the video with the sculpture artist Anita Molinero, whose practice includes deforming leftover industrial equipment. The clip features striking shots of melted and unusual shapes painted in bright colours, in contrast with the drab surroundings. INDS, HXE's first EP for UIQ, approaches sound the same way: it's industrial but bright, hulking but oddly shaped. The drums are like hunks of metal crumpling under the force of each kick. It makes for an overwhelming club EP.
HXE's rhythms are pitched between trap and dancehall. "Shiver" and "Rozay," both of which feature in that video, are almost violent. "Shiver" has chords that strike heavy in the highs and mids, like they were meant to trigger panic on the dance floor. Artificial vocals yelp as they dodge lashing drum hits on "Worm," the EP's most hectic track, which adds drum fills to the sparse and staggered rhythms. On "Spill," voices blur and pool into indistinct syllables, layered and looped like a Todd Edwards track from hell. Every sound is processed, crushed and, sometimes, reversed, creating an intense record that feels powerful even in the context of modern club music's chaos. Where other producers might use metallic clangs and sharp edges to get their point across, HXE melt them down to make something new.