UZ, the beloved trap lord who recently released the culmination of his famed Trap Shit series, has just graced us with another vulgar EP. Coming only a week after the previous one, my speakers have had barely enough time to recover for Frontier. This one may actually be my favorite yet, as it utilizes a slew of diverse, fascinating tonalities to fuse together a massively constructed piece.
The opening track, aptly named “Gladiator,” is a perfect example of this, as it combines Vatican-esque choir chanting with a heavy sub-bass and church bells. With an epic, emanating intro, the song seamlessly transitions into a dynamic melody, as you feel inspired to slay a gargantuan mythical beast. Quintessential trap snares are meticulously layered over the heroic singing, and you can’t help but bob your head to this prodigious saga.
“Bubbles” provides a completely different ambience right off the bat, as a jarring percussive synth leads the way with uplifting claps and a muffled riser. The always-necessary trap snares make a triumphant return, and you’re introduced to the drop only 25 seconds in. The reasoning behind the track’s title becomes abundantly clear, as popping bubbles compliment a distorted sub. After a manipulated vocal sample joins the colossal fray, the intro synth is reintroduced to the melody to close out an incredibly designed drop. A second build gives you no time to relax, and another drop quickly hits you in the face. Using the intro synth as the centerpiece, this breakdown unveils a more melodic feel to an already flawless track.
The penultimate anthem, titled “Frontier,” melds a Middle-Eastern ambience with a classic UZ supersaw. Although there are only two unique parts to this work, UZ applies his masterful sound design to keep it enticing and lively for its entirety. The loose, eastern horn melts over a booming kick – later proceeded by more claps – leading into an immense drop unveiling the vibrating supersaw twang.
You may ask: how could an EP with 3 consecutive masterworks close out on a high note? Well there is no need to fret, as the final track is actually my personal favorite. “Chainsaw” opens with another chopped up vocal sample, and reveals a deep trap horn in the second 8-bar that has you in nervous anticipation before the verse has even begun. A coarse, metallic swell chimes in over a heavy bass, smoothly transitioning into dancehall-laden vocals. Trap rolls warn you of the imminent filth that’s about to come, as the reggae rap serves as a perfect hook. A deep, tonal, trap synth comes screaming in, and you quiver in fear as it climbs half-step by half-step. It changes octaves, as a canonical trap banger definitely should, before becoming inherently distorted and switching up its melody.