Pinning down Bangladeafy is a tough ask. There are touches of Tech Metal here and glimpses of Prog Rock there, pushed through the filter of a Drum and Bass act as played by Lightning Bolt. An easier descriptor may be simply bat-shit bonkers, but there is a method to this NYC duo’s particular brand of vibrant madness.
Despite bass and synth player Jon Ehlers’s hearing disability and backed up by Atif Haq’s drumming prowess, Bangladeafy still manages to produce the musical equivalent of a multi-coloured spray-paint can, practically jittering and bursting with bonkers rhythms and stomach-turning dissonance. It’s easy for this kind of thing to fall into the usual chin-stroking, muso trap, but Ribboncutter (Nefarious Industries) retains a certain character that gives it its replay value.
Largely instrumental, Ribboncutter’s appeal comes from its twisted drum and bass that erratically jumps from sickeningly discordant and downright danceable. More freestyle dancing than ballroom perhaps, but the thudding rhythms of ‘Espionage’ and the noodling ‘North’ will cause involuntary movement in the best way possible.
We only get our first whiff of vocals from Ehler when the title track saunters in, practically convulsing with warped synths and shuddering bass, and they’re just as sharp and abrasive as you might expect. With ‘Swamp Gat’ with even get some honest-to-god melody in the form of a groove-laden bass line that’ll strengthen any neck muscles in need of a tune-up.
It’s all over in twenty minutes, which may seem a good length for a record as brain-twisting as this, as it requires multiple listens to really get to grips with the intricate switches in pace and different layers of intensity Ribboncutter boasts.
Even with the short play length, it’s an intense piece of work that many will dismiss or listen to once as a mild curiosity due to its relative impenetrableness, but it’s worth exploration. Ultimately, it displays a myriad of entertaining ideas in its brief life cycle to entertain Prog nerds and Mathcore kids, and just when you think you’ve got all the answers, Bangldeafy change the questions.