Over the last few years, artists as diverse as the Weeknd and London Grammar have used carefully controlled information, well-manicured and often enigmatic web presences, and measured release rollouts to focus listeners on their music.
These artists aren’t mysterious like, for example, Captain Murphy–there was no speculation about the members of London Grammar. Simply put, their launch from late last year to the present has been designed to funnel fans to their stellar output. It’s a plus (and no small detail) that their aesthetic has made an excellent companion to their string of winning singles. When built upon the right music, this sort of introduction to an artist can be massively effective, gripping fans first with compelling content and then goading them to follow by creating a knowledge gap, leaving just enough bread crumbs to satiate without making intrigued listeners too full to want more.
Those with even the slightest sense of humor will rejoice in the fact that the latest enigmatic product of this line of thinking is named Unknown.
Though speculation as to the Belfast producer’s identity has followed him (or her or a finally-sentient beat making computer) since the debut of his single “I Cry” a few months ago, the campaign around his EP of the same name is luckily one built on the strength of the music rather than the excitement preceding the big reveal of the man behind the curtain.
Fans of another secretive producer–British legend Burial–will find themselves right at home on “I Cry,” a moody, often quite pretty set of two-step and future bass. Building around dark, warm low-end, skittering percussion, and ghostly vocals, it’s a fitting set for someone whose name evokes the abyss.