With their inception just a couple of years ago, one of Pittsburgh’s fastest rising bass and dubstep producers, Akeos, is back with another installment of electronic grit. Insomnia will be released April 24 on Never Say Die’s sister label: Black Label.
The third EP from Akeos, Insomnia, kicks off with “Crescent Moon.” At first, the track seems uplifting and gentle; a captivating and cherubic synth brings you along with a spaced-out drum pattern. However, in less then a minute “Crescent Moon” spirals out of control into an EDM build-up before exploding into a stripped back and head bobbing bass banger, but that’s not all. Around the 2-minute mark, the bridge of the track takes on a Knife Party persona of pulsating beats before returning to dubstep decadence.
“G-Notic,” the second track and collaborative effort between Akeos and fellow producer, Neonix, keeps the hard-hitting spirit of the album alive. It’s wanton bass and expanding scratches keep it all together; an eerie overtone, something that feels like you’re exploring Count Dracula castle, closes out the track.
While it is clear that Akeos wanted to showcase a dubstep-meets-trap hybrid sound with Insomnia, the third track, “Bad Dreams,” is the least aggressive of the EP. It begins with a lofi hip-hop sound and transcends into an industrial, almost UK-inspired, beat that proves to be multifaceted. “Bad Dreams” can fit as background music while studying or thrown into a homespun DJ mix during a rainy night.
“Sleep Walking”—the last track of the EP—takes listeners in another direction. Realistically, a light and airy melody in the beginning of the track shouldn’t work with the glitched out industrial riffs; it may seem too discombobulated to be enjoyable. Miraculously, it all comes together and makes for a track that is both sonic and heavy—a perfect way to close out the EP.
In the new normal of social distancing and an unknown fate for clubs and festivals, it is a bit awkward seeing such a loud and pulse raising EP like Insomnia being listened to outside of a festival setting. But Akeos left us only wanting to hear this being blasted from a proper sound system. Whether a festival, home listening, or if brave enough, on the way to a grocery store, Akeos produced an EP that is a bridge between the old styled sounds of 2013 and a new producer take. It is fair to say Insomnia will be more than just a EP made during quarantine.
You can listen to Insomnia here.