The D.C. music scene’s constantly shifting lineup of exciting new bands continues to surprise, we’ve got a trio of killer tracks from vets of three different scenes. Whether they’re punk lifers continuing to embody the DIY trail they blazed in the 1980s hardcore scene, 21st century underground music linchpins coming together for a new project, or electronic music mainstays wistfully looking back at their adolescence, a theme of something new being built from the remains of the past unites the three tracks we’ve got for you this month.
Ecstatic International “High Violence”
The title track to their forthcoming debut EP, we can only hope that “High Violence” is a statement of purpose from Ecstatic International, a new post-punk project featuring a slew of musicians who anyone familiar with the D.C. music scene will recognize. Started when Priests’ guitarist G.L. Jaguar and Ex Hex’s Laura Harris bands both went on hiatus around the same time, they linked up with Bottled Up’s Nikhil Rao, Anno Nasty from Olivia Neutron-John and Jacky Cougar Abok from Das Demonas. Incorporating influences from classic record collector catnip like Josef K and A Certain Ratio, the band’s emphasis on danceable rhythms and textured grooves have us looking forward to shaking our asses at their live shows as soon as possible. “High Violence” captures what it’s like to lose yourself on the dance floor and infuses it with a nervy paranoia, with a twitchy chorus: “got that cold sweat, got them sweaty palms, couldn’t tell you what’s going on. High violence!” ecstaticinternational.bandcamp.com
James Bangura “Wichita”
Inspired by adolescent drives through the canyons of Southern California, D.C.-based producer, DJ, and founder of the Black Rave Culture collective James Bangura will release “Wichita,” a new EP, later this month. The title track is our first taste of the new record, and it’s a reflective, moody minimalist house jam that never stops shifting and surprising you with its many twists and turns. Various ambient components phase in and out of sequence while a single, looping line captures the nostalgic vibe of the project, reminding the listener (and himself) “I know that we ain’t kids.” @_james_bangura
Hammered Hulls “Rights and Reproduction”
Hammered Hulls’ debut album has the bittersweet distinction of being the last album recorded at legendary Arlington recording studio Inner Ear, where records from countless influential punk and hardcore bands have recorded over the last 40 years. The LP was recorded by Ian MacKaye and featuring a murderer’s row of D.C. DIY legends, including Alec MacKaye from Faith, Mary Timony from Wild Flag and Helium, Ted Leo / Pharmacists and Titus Andronicus drummer Chris Wilson, and The Make Up’s guitarist Mark Cisneros. Advance single “Rights and Reproduction” is a high-strung rager, jittery rhythms clattering under MacKaye’s impassioned vocals. A long-gestating product of pandemic-induced delays, the record finally hits shelves later this month, we can already tell it’s one that’s going to stay in rotation for a while. hammeredhulls.bandcamp.com
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