Modulaw and Xzavier Stone met seven years ago in their hometown of Zürich. They've been dabbling in collaborative creative projects ever since then, but have spent the majority of their time refining their artistry independently. Stone is affiliated with Zora Jones and Sinjin Hawke's Fractal Fantasy. Modulaw, meanwhile, has been busy working on a stack of remixes, edits and solo projects.
The pair dropped their first joint EP, YAWREDDY?!, in 2019. They've joined forces once more on Summoning Spirits, an 11-track odyssey into slick rap music cast through an experimental, electronic lens. Interestingly, the tracks included here all started out as beats for other artists that didn't end up being picked. Instead of binning them after they were turned down, the duo decided to built them into standalone songs.
Each track contains something completely unique from the others. It could be a vocal chop, a rap verse or a synthesised element. The album opens with "Transcend," the kind of track you'd want playing while cruising around at the weekend as the sun bids farewell and the moon shifts into position, the expectations for the night still high. "TEX3" switches out the major-label smoothness for raw grit and goes in heavier with the drums. Swiss rapper Paxslim appears on "Amazing," demonstratng just how well these productions work when loaded up with lyrics. "Zero" treads breezily through murkier, screwface-inducing terrain.
There's a unique pleasure to be felt when underdogs get the chance to shine through. It's an emotional fulfilment that can be felt throughout Summoning Spirits. While the choice vocal features add a new dimension and feel to the tracks, the beats really do hold up on their own.
03. Amazing feat. Paxslim
04. Summoning Spirits
08. Pop Rock feat. DÆMON
10. Cherry Blossom
11. Into The Mist