Hailing from Russia, Proxy is the newest recruit of Dim Mak in the L.A.-based label’s hopes of world dance dominance. Veering drastically from Dim Mak’s big-room sound, Proxy’s debut LP, Music from the Eastblock Jungles, is best blasted within the decay of industrial confines. Similar to fellow Soviet Bloc producer Mord Fustang, Proxy keeps his mixes loose, breaking consistent beats, incorporating dusty found sounds, and destroying the walls of techno bravado to help usher in new fans of the underground. Proxy doesn’t share Fustang’s appreciation for bright 8-bit synths (except for on “Cobra Combo”), preferring to keep his tracks cloaked in the darkness of a Siberian night.
Spread across 23 tracks, Proxy is unapologetic about reworking his own material. “Raw” and “Junk” each crib the same vocal loop, but the former is a grinding electro track while the latter augments the loop to serve as a melodic element within its poolside booty-tech aesthetic. That grinding low-end is then amplified to balance the sensual female whispers that line “Dancing in the Dark”. This recycling aids Proxy in establishing an element of continuity amid tracks that focus on everything from Middle Eastern string arrangements (“800o”) to Dothraki and bass wobbles on “Classic”.
The sonic experimentation doesn’t arrive without flaws. The sustained beat of “Kamuyi” is so piercing that it is just easier to enjoy the track if you skip to its halfway mark and wait for the soft drop. But it is this same go-for-bust mentality that results in the deconstructed beats of “Parasite” and “Who Are You”, which concurrently reflect the era of rave-techno and the current trends of schizophrenic synth manipulation. As Proxy has no plans of touring stateside at the moment, be aware of developing an addiction.
Essential Tracks: “Raw”, “Dancing In the Dark”, and “Classic”