Drugg – Unshackled, Unashamed, Unusual

What, another electronic-music based band with an explicit reference to pharmacuticals in their name? Anyone would think that this kind of music has a close association with illegal substances or something.

Drugg must have been a bit miffed with the rise of D/R/U/G/S – now there’s a lawsuit waiting to happen – and maybe they reacted by pursuing a more obtuse musical angle to underline the differentiation. If that’s so, I’m more than glad for the confusion.

Shackled, ironically, is exactly not that –  a more comfortably formless and unattached song is unlikely to be heard outside of  a free-form jazz open-mic event at a synaesthete’s night club.

In making a song that swirls headily with conflicting thought-sounds, hyper-attuned feelings and noises that are foggy and crystal clear all at once, Drugg have clearly approached the creation of Shackled in one of two ways.

They’ve either dug deep into the subconscious and painstakingly created a wonderfully disorienting, foggy musical representation of the multifarious levels of humanity’s cognitive operation; or someone fell asleep face-first on the keyboard and left the ‘Record’ function running. I favour the former explanation.

In truth, either would suit: I don’t care how such lovely noise-splashes are made, just as long as there is someone bold enough to release it. It’s important to approach these songs with a different mindset to, say, how you would the new Avi Buffalo release, as the pleasure isn’t derived from the usual verse-chorus-verse mechanics.

Instead, allow Shackled to wash over you, and focus on the sound itself – a wholly different ethos that rewards in an entirely different way. Great.


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