Here’s how the story goes. We’re exhausted and dehydrated, the four of us, blazing through LA at 3am, fresh from airplanes and bone-dry air and not enough sleep. We don’t where we’re going—where are we? what’s close?—but here we are in this car; here we are having not seen each other for a year; here’s Santa Monica Boulevard like a monolith of neon preen and we’re racing through it, just so fucking fast, fighting to stay awake while the city lurches in a sleepy slow motion. Everything’s gone soft at the edges. There’s no beginning or end. Just tired disorientation, the burning blur of vision tracers and my best friend, steering us like hellfire into deep Hollywood, saying: “Here, listen to this.”
I don’t know which Bruxa song he played. I don’t even know if I registered it as music — because in that moment of sleep-deprived psychosis, with the whole of Hollywood writhing beneath us like some possessed un-thing, it just felt like the hallucinatory world behind my eyes. Santa Monica Boulevard speeding up and slowing down, rattling all demonic in the color-drenched haze.
It was, by far, the best way to experience Bruxa for the first time.
This new Portland trio makes witchstep, if you want to call it that, and you should—it’s too perfect a tag. Bianca Radd, Derek Stilwell and Saint Micheal spin songs like a coven, transforming air and earth with seething drag inspired by equal parts dubstep, IDM and Tricky.
“Eye on Everybody” especially has the same wicked vibe as Pre-Millennium Tension’s killer “Bad Dreams”, but the evil heat of it carries through their entire debut release. Even the hysterical, glitched “Aqui” and their slippery remix of “Shake That Ass Bitch” quake with the raw energy.
But Bruxa are more than a strategic genre tag. There’s some serious production skill behind these songs, the sort of thing that sends you into a sensory space where time slows, pulses speed, you’re not just hearing the thing — you’re breathing it. You feel it in your jaw and neck, your fingernails, your heartbeat. You’re careening through LA in a desperate search for nothing, and you haven’t slept, and the gutters undulate, the skyline growls, the sidewalks warp and spit and here, they say, listen to this.
Bruxa’s debut release Eye on Everybody is out now via Sweating Tapes. Hand-numbered cassettes, limited to 100. You can preview the whole thing below and buy the digital version (plus a Black Ceiling remix) on the label’s Bandcamp.