Sunday December 3rd, 2023
Download SceneNow app

Kuwaiti Producer Van Boom's 'Prosthetics' Full of Industrial Bangers

With two previous EPs under his belt, ‘Prosthetic’ arrives as Van Boom’s debut album with continued accelerationism and unrelenting sub-bass.

Maha ElNabawi

Kuwait-based producer and DJ Van Boom is, by his own admission, a “terminal outsider,” and his newest album, ‘Prosthetics’ articulates this position through left-field electronics, sub-bass and noise. With two previous EPs under his belt, ‘Prosthetic’ arrives as Van Boom’s debut album (released on Swedish label Cease 2 Exist), with continued accelerationism and unrelenting sub-bass.

Released on Swedish label Cease 2 Exit, the album’s liner notes describe the work as an “uncompromising statement of intent” with “orbiting hyper-industrial dread” that borders on a “freefall into a melancholic blackhole.”

The album’s opener, ‘Prologue,’ aptly sets the tone, as this album is not a light listening affair. On the contrary, in ‘Prologue’, we enter the moodiness of the album, and perhaps the only spacious moments with sparse yet ominous horns and shakers affected by distortion and static. The static carries us through the next track, ‘Torn’, as a calling to the baseline and fragmented beat that builds momentum alongside the other textures to create a dense yet propelling club banger.

Co-produced by ‘Whiterose’, the track ‘Agora’ continues along this trajectory of fierce, heavy-hitting dance tracks driven by abrasive textures and a speedy beat. We’re introduced to new layers, however, which gives the album a sense of dynamism that is often neglected on albums that travel through these sound styles.

In ‘Metal Surface’, Van Boom gives his listeners an interlude of sorts that, in a way, acts like a fleeting release to the building tension before the “freefall into a melancholic blackhole” in ‘XXX ft. Whiterose’. Using a deconstructed beat that sounds like a machine gun rapidly firing bullets through the sonic landscape - it’s a familiar aesthetic found in left-field electronics. However, Whiterose and Van Boom join forces, in this case, to create a track that somehow still finds a groove through the debris.

By the time we reach ‘Cruel’, this tension continues to build into what sounds like a Call of Duty death match, where no one makes it out alive. While ‘Kafir’ takes on a higher pitch than the previous tracks, it is as equally unrelenting as it is pushed along by an accelerated momentum leading us into the closing track.

Perhaps one of the album’s most unpredictable tracks, ‘Malebolgia’ is driven by an eerie and anxious synth line that almost feels familiar at times but then quickly changes shape as the track progresses. Overall, Van Boom’s debut album is high-energy, moody, and exactly as described, made for a “forward-thinking audience.”

Listen to Van Boom’s ‘Prosthetics’ here.