If being Drainy is a sin, Lord, forgive me
This week, Spotify formally declared ‘drain’ a style, however what does that imply? When remix tradition has rendered most music as we speak as genre-fluid, you want solely have a look at different Spotify-generated genres such hyperpop and glitchcore to know drain isn’t a lot a definite sound as it’s a group of artists working throughout the identical on-line spheres. On this case, ‘drain’ refers to music created by the internet-born, avant-garde boy band Drain Gang, consisting of vocalists Bladee, Thaiboy Digital and Ecco2k and producer whitearmor.
Since their formation in 2013, the Swedish collective have amassed a cult following for his or her Extraordinarily On-line pressure of underground rap. Initially a part of the ten-man group Smög Boys, the 4 finally determined to interrupt off and kind Drain Gang, which noticed them signal with YEAR0001 and repeatedly companion up with labelmate Yung Lean and his Unhappy Boys collective. Impressed in equal elements by Chief Keef, Lil B and Waka Flocka, the group gained prominence within the cloud-rap scene earlier than occurring to sculpt their very own mercurial sound that options AutoTune croons, ethereal beats, and existential-like lyrics, capturing the sound of disillusioned youth all over the place.
Recognised for his or her elusive but enigmatic on-line presence, the members of Drain Gang are fashion-forward outsiders, whose lo-fi aesthetic has impressed a definite fashion amongst its tremendous devoted legion of followers, to not point out merch drops (Claire Barrow is a frequent collaborator) that promote out inside seconds. The group’s eclectic fashion has impressed numerous imitators – largely baby-faced Soundcloud producers who aspire to comply with of their footsteps.
With numerous fan pages, Reddit threads, and self-referential meme pages, Drain Gang is probably the very last thing we have now left of an IRL subculture. A lot in order that drainerdom has even taken on pseudo-spiritual which means, its fanbase imbuing Drain lore with an nearly gnostic mysticism that propels its members from meme fodder to mythic creatures. Within the phrases of Bladee, “if being Drainy is a sin, Lord, forgive me”. So, right here’s a information to Drain Gang in 5 key albums. Once you’re carried out, learn Dazed’s interviews with Thaiboy Digital and whitearmor.
D&G is a monster 17-track album that marks the group’s debut as Drain Gang (they beforehand used to go by Gravity Boys). Nonetheless firmly of their cloud-rap period, D&G is probably their most straightforward lyrically, with sparse lo-fi manufacturing and muffled percussion establishing their drained-out sound.
Final week Icedancer was mysteriously faraway from Spotify, prompting followers on the r/sadboys Reddit to enter overdrive. The album is so beloved, in truth, that there’s even a Change.org petition to deliver the album onto Instagram music. Produced by RipSquad, Icedancer is Bladee’s third mixtape and options thought-provoking lyrics that, fused with an icy nihilism, feels extra jaded than earlier works. The most important monitor on the album “Be Good To Me” sees Bladee sing-rap “I do not wanna discuss for those who’re not gonna discuss to me good” in opposition to a bubbly, uplifting melody. An important chapter in Drain lore, there’s a cause Icedancer is a fan favorite. So, what are you ready for?
Recorded throughout a go to to Bangkok (DG member Thaiboy Digital was deported from Stockholm in 2015 as a consequence of visa issues), Trash Island is the third collaborative venture by Drain Gang. With art work by Ecco2k, its futuristic pop marks a sonic shift from the group’s lo-fi roots to an altogether extra polished sound, with trance-heavy pads and synth-laden melodies dominating the album’s eight tracks. From “Western Union”, maybe probably the most beloved monitor on the album, to the hedonistic “thirtieth Ground”, Trash Island surges with cathartic bliss and euphoric highs.
Thaiboy Digital’s solo debut sees the Thai rapper replicate on his deportation on the age of 18 by way of a melancholic lens laden with trance melodies and hip-hop bars. That includes visitor appearances from Ecco2k, Bladee and Yung Lean, the album was recorded throughout a handful of visa-regulated periods in Stockholm and London in the summertime of 2018. Drifting between flex-heavy love songs and shiny synth strains, Legendary Member is dreamy and relentless providing from plain bangers from Drain Gang’s OG.
Till the discharge of his debut album, DG co-founder Ecco2k had held a mysterious presence in Drain Gang lore, solely showing on different folks’s information. With E, he trades rap for a breezy tackle up to date pop. With manufacturing by good friend and collaborator Yves Tumor (Ecco2k is behind most of the artist’s head-spinning music movies), the album sees him step into the highlight throughout 9 achingly angelic songs. Whether or not it’s ruminating on the color of his pores and skin on “Peroxide” or singing about ketamine crystals kissing his nostril on “Calcium”, drain has by no means sounded so blissed-out and delightful.