The forms taken by “Crisis Face,” the latest single from Kansas City producer Hate Shapes, are discernibly familiar. Guest vocalist Taryn Blake Miller (of Your Friend) is chopped up and echoing over a ringing, serpentine guitar that recalls Darkside. Which is fitting because in previous chats I’ve had with Miller she’s mentioned her fondness for the Nicolas Jaar/Dave Harrington duo. Little bits of drum machine, that wouldn’t be entirely out of place on a Zaytoven track, skitter on through the song. Distended vocal parts sound Houston-bred and codeine addled. There is a glitchier middle-tier that plants visions of Crystal Castles’ “Untrust Us” into my head, if Crystal Castles had an even remotely sunny disposition. Throughout there are clear tags and identifiers.
But Hate Shapes’ guiding hand smears everything in such a compelling way that any individual identifier doesn’t matter nearby as much. Extricating one specific part becomes impossible because everything blurs together so much. And “Crisis Face” keeps moving. So when one comparison comes to mind, it’s on to the next one. It’s nothing short of expert synthesis.
Hate Shapes’ debut record, Mouthcrawler, drops Sept. 20 through Intelligent Sound.