HXV aka Heroes and Villains have made a lot of music. I mean a lot. If you look up Daniel Disaster’s production credits, you may be surprised as to the names he has worked with in this industry. Here is a little hint: most of them are not collaborations with your favorite DJs; in fact, most of them are not even involved in this microcosmic elite electronic environment in which we live. Until recently, HXV was a duo, and the combined credits of those two members was beyond astonishment. Even still, you probably won’t even believe the studded stars that Daniel has worked with throughout his career.
This isn’t his first rodeo, it isn’t even his first time going at this thing solo. He has been touring alone for quite some time, and anyone who has seen HXV perform, knows he needs no one else to help him rev up the crowd and bring the ATL flavor to cities around the world. HXV is now a solo act, even though that is fruitless information. Released on Ultra, the EP is entitled Vultures, and while I would be happy to tell you just what I think about this album, but I am going to try and keep my words to a minimum here. Daniel Disaster, the artists himself, has something he would like to say:
Today I’m very proud to release our debut EP on Ultra, VULTURES. We haven’t released an EP since Run The Trap back in Dec of 2012. Since then we’ve toured the world a few times over, had a Vegas residency, played major festivals, and got to meet a bunch of awesome people. After we signed our deal with Ultra, we went in and wrote an EP of music but it just didnt feel right. It felt too safe, not innovative enough, not enough risk; and true art in my opinion takes risks. Thats where the art is. In the courage to do something different or unique to stand out against the status quo. That is what HXV has always and will always be about. So we scrapped the entire EP, then I went back on the road and really marinated on why we started doing this in the first place. I listened to our “We Off That” mixtape, NIN, Death Grips, Yeezus, Public Enemy, N.W.A Music, new Atlanta rap and dark techno from labels like CLR and artists like Black Asteroid.
I cleared my schedule for 3 weeks in July and we went in the studio to write Vultures. With this EP we opened up the collaborative process to more than just me and Pete. We worked with our friends Debroka, Ricky Remedy, LIL UZI VERT, and Rome Fortune. Piecing together the records loop by loop, idea after idea, recording numerous different vocals and taking the best parts and constructing our own vision, using each person and what they bring to the table as an instrument. We had strict rules in studio sessions, no Beatport was allowed, no referencing other top dance music records, no surfing on forums or reading comments on videos or Soundcloud. You never really realize how this can impact the creative process until you disconnect and really dive into your work. We fostered an environment of creativity and collaboration where ideas were shot down ruthlessly for the better of the song as a whole and not just one persons idea.
The result is the Vultures EP, an uncompromisingly dark statement about the current state of electronic music its lack of originality and cultural white washing and appropriation of other cultures. This isn’t dance music. This is HXV.
There isn’t much I can say about this album that Daniel Disaster hasn’t already said. He is HXV, as of recently becoming a solo project. He is by far one of the most talented men, and endearing as well, that I have even met and had the pleasure of knowing. It seems to me that he would like the identity of HXV to remain something of a mystery, or at least to remain mysterious. He is not himself when he is making and playing music. He takes on the persona that is Heroes and Villains, and maintains that persona at all costs. He is a very private and shy person, so consider yourself privileged to have heard his words and to know who he is. If you ever meet him at a show, don’t act like a dumb dumb. Do not be a vulture, appreciate what is meant by this Vultures EP. Say hello, tell him you love his music, take a picture, and move on.
What HXV does, is simply magical. So aptly transferring feels to music so that you actually feel as though you’re with them, a part of them, living in their shoes for the time that lapses from beat to beat, song to song. In turn, the artist represents his music so, so well. Dressed in all black like the omen, or like an omen. The music directly reflects this atmospheric darkness. It is raw and real, and it should be appreciated for the depths and lengths to which it goes. Down, down, down baby. So many boom booms. In the spirit of Daniel’s dark wardrobe, and the aptly dark title of this album, here is Vultures. The title track off this EP alone has me doing cartwheels in what feels like the whirlwing that is this track.
There are no heroes here. There are no villains either. We are all just people in this world. Some of us though, embody both hero and a villain. HXV epitomizes that embodiment.
In reality, it is just the dopeness that is Daniel and his music. Enjoy. Show ya luv.
Big Ups to HXV for this one. ATLHoe.
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