Shackles – “Shackles” EP

Shackles

UK trap artist Shackles has been on the DAD radar for a minute now. We’ve brought you a few of his tracks, and today we have his newest release, a self-titled EP. Released via Trapdoor Records (also the home of another DAD favorite, Hucci), the EP brings four tracks together in a unified vision. Spacey, cinematic and futuristic, Shackles eschews big lasers of his American counterparts and opts for a more cerebral vibe.

Raindrops instead of gunshots, opening track “Covenant” sets the pensive tone of the EP, bringing about an emotive side to trap that is seldom seen. A soulful electronica feeling pervades the entire release even as the second track “Let You Know” ups the energy a bit more. Drawing influences from purple pioneer Joker, “Let You Know” brings a bit of 8-bit wonkiness and taste of the old-school yet uptempo dubstep roots that first took hold in Shackles’ home country of England. The EP’s standout track is no doubt “Big Weight.” The cinematic and atmospheric track again draws on purple influences as he again evokes a certain cerebral vibe that is often missing in trap. The track has an uncanny melodic resemblance to TNGHT‘s “Buggn’,” so there’s no doubt that Shackles at least has good taste if nothing else… fourth and final tune “Too Close” steps up the energy once again as the futuristic bleeps and bloops lay a chaotic canvas as Rihanna-esque r&b vocals fills the track out before delivering a very old-school Rusko esque dance vibe. The combination of these influences makes for a very worthwhile and interesting release.