In the mid-1990s, Fear Factory introduced a series of tropes into the metal canon that …
Out to push the limits of their music once more, Northlane have dropped 5G, the ultimate remix EP.
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Featuring some of the band’s greatest tracks–most featuring on their latest album, 2019’s Alien–Northlane have brought on various artists from outside of metal to sensationalise this new offering.
But who are these outer-metal mysterios and what are they bringing to the Northlane game?
From electronica to noise rock, Northlane’s guest artists display the true potential of what can happen when worlds collide. For the devoted metalhead, these are likely names you’ve not heard of, but given the genius outlooks they offer Northlane and 5G, they’re all well worth checking out.
HEALTH, a huge influence on Northlane’s Alien, you may recognise for their pulsating reworking of New Order’s Blue Monday (produced for the 2017 thriller Atomic Blonde) which saw the Los Angeles noise rock outfit give the classic 80s synthpop track a lick of experimental electronica.
5G’s Bloodline (HEALTH Remix) is truly epic. Essentially a twisted though ethereal HEALTH track, just with Northlane’s Marcus Bridge’s epic vocals soaring over it.
Aside from Northlane, HEALTH have offered up their skills to other bands, too, remixing Rise Against’s Broken Dreams, Inc. from a dark metal frenzy into an almost introverted though magical lullaby.
LISTEN TO: Major Crimes, Broken Dreams, FEEL NOTHING
Mashd N Kutcher
What can be more Australian than an electronica track of pulsating effects that boasts lyrics like ‘Get on the beers/that’s your civic duty’? Yeah, that was a real thing, when Aussie duo Mashd N Kutcher put out Get on the Beers last year. The track saw the Brisbane duo–comprised of Matt Minor and Adam Morris–sample a speech given by Victoria Premier Dan Andrews in March 2020, in which the politician told the public it wasn’t appropriate to “have all your mates around to your house to ‘get on the beers’” after pubs were closed at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
Finding humour in Andrews’ statement, Mashd N Kutcher’s genius track landed at No. 12 in this year’s triple j Hot 100. Though the soundscape sounds like Crazy Frog has taken a holiday Down Under, Mashd N Kutcher really made a mark in the mainstream with this track.
Hilarious jabs at arguably incompetent politicians aside, Mashd N Kutcher have an absolute wealth of material they’ve put out in the eight years since their inception. Featuring two ARIA Platinum tracks, Do It Now and My Sunshine, the Brisbane duo’s discography houses only singles, Mashd N Kutcher never having dropped an album or EP.
There’s a wealth of remixes in there, though, the pair seemingly always finding little nooks and crannies in their material to continue to build upon, just as they have with Northlane’s 4D (Mashd N Kutcher remix).
LISTEN TO: Get on the Beers, I’m Yours, Need Me
This Sydney producer puts out tunes that will appeal to metalheads, dance nuts and everybody in between.
What’s cool about some of Mr. Bill’s work is how he uses his computer and mouse (and sometimes a MIDI controller) to take sounds of the everyday and twist your ears so that these sounds can be perceived from a hugely different angle. Children’s laughter, a simple piano, conversations, you name it, Mr. Bill has an innate ability to turn the ordinary into something extraordinary.
Mr. Bill also dabbles with the classic aesthetics of genres like soul, reggae and contemporary pop, his interest in which might be what drew him to add his master touch to Northlane’s Vultures, turning the rock-solid foundations of the original into another an epically nutty trip.
And for those interested, Mr. Bill makes a bunch of YouTube tutorials regarding music production that might help you tap into not only into the roots of his wizardry but make some magic for yourself.
LISTEN TO: Screening, 10.8, Frakenskank
If Skrillex had a long-lost younger brother, PhaseOne would be he. Largely influenced by the desecrating undertones of EDM, D ‘n’ B and dubstep, PhaseOne–aka Graeme Duffy–packs an energy in his production that must be hard to match.
Seriously, hold your breath. There is so much elemental brilliance to unpack in releases like Transcendency and Dead Line… Sorry, supposed to be writing about PhaseOne’s background and music but this writer just fell down a rabbit hole of winding rhythms, sonic fireworks and heart-stopping breakdowns and forgot the world for a minute. Such is the effect PhaseOne can have!
PhaseOne also infuses metal into many of his tracks. His remix of In Hearts Wake’s Worldwide Suicide is the musical equivalent of a dagger to the chest and head but enjoying it. He can step down the spectrum a bit and into emo and still execute some wildly emotive experiences, as with his collaboration with Silverstein’s Shane Told on Enemy.
With Northlane’s Sleepless (PhaseOne Remix), however, we’re well and truly experiencing everything PhaseOne has to offer. All that wildness, those carefully crafted textures, and the amplification of the original version’s emotive journey packed into one deftly fashioned remix.
LISTEN TO: Bubzstep, Worldwide Suicide, We Don’t Play