Thursday, June 27, 2019

New Music Revue: Riot Ten gets fiercely diverse on new EP

June 12, 2019 by Zachary Greenwood, contributing writer

Riot Ten
Hype or Die: Sun City
(Dim Mak Records)

Texas-based DJ and producer Riot Ten—also known as Christopher Wilson—has unleashed his fierce new EP, Hype or Die: Sun City, on Dim Mak Records.

The first track, “Los Pinches,” is unforgettable. It leads with trumpet and impresses on the listener an image of the scorching sun burning brilliantly in the Wild West. Furthering this, the click of a cocked gun commences a Mexican standoff.

With tension and anticipation risen, the trumpet breaks for a second then shifts tempo; a mariachi grito and countdown pierces that tension to playful fiesta. Another countdown, pinnacle reached; the bass is thrown down with heavy revving and rapid-fire scratching. The song asks if you want some more; another incredible drop. Unfortunately, at the halfway point, this track feels like it’s on loop, repeating itself. 

The next three songs pale in comparison to the first. There is rap brazenly screamed and spat at the listener’s face; I do enjoy the rhymes and wordplays, though. The drops are interesting, although I am unable to overlook that the bass sounds like something being squished. Verses loop through the entirety, which is standard dubstep and hardstyle with rap. 

The fourth track reminds me of exercise videos people play on their TVs. It could be; I felt tired jumping and bobbing my head up and down to this song, which is called, well, “Up N Down.” The beat is danceable and more controlled on this bass-house- and trap-influenced track.  

Riot Ten shifts gears again on the EP’s outro, “Sun City.” Differing from the rest of the EP; it’s the perfect conclusion to the erratic ride. Slow-paced strumming and then humming drone as the pace intensifies. Soft percussion signals the hype. The drop is chill and calm; I picture the sun setting on a tropoteric world. At four and a half minutes it’s a bit long, but it’s my favourite cut here, as Riot Ten demonstrates his capabilities and ability to incorporate different styles into his music. “Sun City” draws the curtains and resets the listener’s nerves at the end of this diverse EP.

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