New Album Review

Fax Gang & Parannoul’s “Scattersun” Embodies the Zoomer Indie Spirit

Listen. I understand if you, a Parannoul fan in this hypothetical scenario, saw that there was a new album and then was really confused when you listened to it and it was only kind of shoegaze. But as a Fax Gang fan? This is everything I’ve ever wanted.

There Are Two Artists On This

I think the song that best exhibits the uniqueness of this album is the third track, “Double Bind.” The song starts with a really crunchy 2-step beat, but soon a shoegaze guitar in all its distorted glory kicks in. At the exact same moment, they start rapping over it. 

I know you’re reading this and thinking that sounds terrible, but I need you to trust me here in that it’s really good, actually. That aside, it also begs the question: How does an album like this exist?

Fax Gang was probably most known from 2020 to 2022, when they were actively releasing cloud rap and hexd, a style involving heavy bitcrushing. At roughly the same period of time, Parannoul was getting popular as a shoegaze artist. It doesn’t seem like a natural collaboration, but their respective talents combine to make an album that is both shockingly good and like nothing else they – nor anyone else, really – have ever made.

There Are Simply Too Many Genres

Along with 2-step, shoegaze and hip-hop, this album also has elements of Jersey club, anime/video game soundtracks, hyperflip and more. One influence that really stood out to me was a very specific strain of jazzy glitch pop, best typified by the artist Hakushi Hasegawa. “Soliloquy” is probably my personal favorite song on the album just for how hard it leans into that influence, while still keeping the identity of the album.

Of course, there’s a method to the madness. A lot of the genres I listed have been particularly popular in the past few years – Fax Gang and Parannoul already represent the upswing in cloud rap and shoegaze, respectively, but if you’re in very specific music circles, you’ve probably heard a good amount of the other genres, too. 

What I’m getting at here is that “Scattersun” is an effective synthesis of the past few years in what I refer to as “zoomer indie” – a lot of electronic music, yes, but also stuff like They Are Gutting a Body of Water-esque shoegaze or cloud rap that has electronic influences, but wouldn’t exactly be played on our Afterhours block. 

To be completely honest, I’ve also felt a little burnt out on that style of music. It’s been pretty prominent for the past four years, and I’ve been looking for something new. In combining a lot that I’ve liked before while also swinging for the absolute fences, Fax Gang and Parannoul have proven that there’s still a lot of untread ground in that sphere, and I look forward to seeing what both artists do in the future.

By chalcopyrite

I'm chalcopyrite. I like electronic music, especially stuff that is weird, silly, very online, or any combination of the previous. I hope you like when I write about electronic music.