An inner conflict runs through PXE, Swedish artist Ecco2k’s introspective new EP. Set against the static of an electricity pylon, the accompanying visuals, made in collaboration with illustrator Freddy Carrasco, imagine the album as a dialogue between two characters named ‘Ecco’ and ‘Echo’. Each track plays out like a manga strip. “I want a human body/ I want to be someone,” one cries out. The other beckons, “I don’t wanna be your dream boy anymore,” as a wave of static engulfs the listener.
Unlike his debut album E, a collaboration between Yves Tumor, Gud, and Mechatok, PXE was produced entirely by Arogundade, and marks a new chapter in the Drain Gang co-founder’s work. The lyrics have a diaristic quality that, combined with a pop-punk angst, feel both achingly beautiful and feverish all at the same time. At just over 10 minutes, PXE is a shock of an album; its high-voltage sound hits you like a system seizure.
Elsewhere, Japanese Soundcloud star Tohji delivers a super-charged dose of electrotrap, Ghanian drill star Yaw Tog drops a melodic debut, and Miami duo Basside’s album features a collaboration with late producer SOPHIE.