Cameron Argon might be best known by many as EDM artist Big Chocolate. However, Argon also has a solo death metal project called Disfiguring The Goddess. With his death metal alter ego’s new EP Sleeper now available in all digital outlets, we asked Argon to list what he considers to be the Top 5 collaborations between metal and electronic artists.
The Metal/Electronic phase of music has nearly begun to take shape. With very few examples out there, it’s hard to even come up with five ‘best’ demonstrations of hybrids out there. When choosing these five, I looked for who really chose to combine elements, rather than have 30 seconds of guitars and screaming followed by a minutes worth of 140 BPM dubstep nonsense. There is much to learn about heavy electronic music for metal fans and vice versa.
5. Pendulum and In Flames – “Self Vs. Self”
Pendulum, already pushing the rock/metal limit while still being considered a drum and bass act, teaming up with Swedish melodic metal group In Flames almost sells the idea of the two genres coming together in the title alone. Rob and Anders switch off vocal duties in the hooks while Anders takes the verses. The track is definitely catered to In Flames style more than Pendulum’s, but the drum production, electronics, and arrangement really make this track a good starting point to see eye to eye with metal/EDM unity.
4. Animosity and Drumcorps – Altered Beast EP
Animosity was a name I favored in high school as a bay area hardcore/metal act. Animosity expanded their name through gold foil hoodies and grassroot foundations for young grindcore and deathcore acts. Before the band totally [broke up], they released a short EP of their hits glitched to hell by Drumcorps. Drumcorps did total justice to Animosity with these remixes, keeping the aggression at an all-time high. Drums were replaced with forever changing breakbeats, while guitar and vocals were chopped and pitched to hell and back. It may not be the absolute nuttiest glitch/speed/core/whatever you call it of electronic music, but it certainly is the heaviest form of whatever this sort of sound is.
3. X-ecutioners and Linkin Park – “It’s Goin’ Down”
If this song doesn’t make me feel like I’m 12 years old watching MTV2 on my parents bed, then nothing will. Linkin Park brining controlled experimentation into their sound was key early on as they ride the nu-metal wave into mainstream rock/pop history. The non-cheesy rapping and tasteful use of a DJ into a live act got attention from all markets, including hip hop icon Jay-Z. The X-Ecutioners, being a turntablism super group reaching out and making this classic hit with Linkin Park, brings all sorts of influence together and carefully laid out with gritty metal guitar riffs, aggressive use of electronic accents, and of course some of the best scratching to perfectly complement the tune. Wayne Static makes a cameo in the video, although I’m pretty sure he didn’t have anything to do with the actual track itself. STILL RULES!
2. Korn and Kill The Noise / Skrillex – “Narcissistic Cannibal”
Korn’s made a career of being visionary and always keeping an ear for new things that are making it’s way from the underground to the floor front. Their last album was almost a 100% plunge into the recent North American explosion of heavy bass music platform: dubstep. Korn realized that dubstep has the same fundamental energy that metal has, which is in-your-face, groovy, and heavy music. To me, this song is one of the best tracks from their new album because I feel like it has the most ‘Korn’ contribution. I’ll admit that I feel a few songs on this album seem more like a dubstep track with some guitars and Jonathan Davis singing, but this tune feels like a Korn song with the elements of bass music continuing their path of pushing the limits for heavy music.
1. Suicide Silence and Myself – “Disengage (Big Chocolate Remix)”
When thinking about what tracks to pick for this Top 5, I didn’t want to be that guy and put himself down. But I really feel like the first remixes I ever did for California metal band Suicide Silence were a good leap forward in mixing styles from the two. I also choose this collaboration because I can give a better insight on how it came together because I was actually a part of it. Having a huge metal background and little knowledge of electronic production, I did what I knew how to do for the “Disengage Big Chocolate Remix,” which wasn’t much but when it all comes at you in one tune it, knocks you down. I had no footing in electronic production for practically all of my early metal/electronic productions, which actually had a positive influence on those songs due to 100% experimentation rather than throwing bits of SS into a work flow that I’ve already done 400 times before that. Chopping up guitars, pitching/scratching vocals, and heavy distorted kicks help transform a metal band into a industrial/spineless array of sounds and ideas. These early remixes helped create Commissioner, a project between me and SS vocalist Mitch Lucker. Commissioner is where I first started looking into drum and bass and dubstep to barrow elements to further drive the extremes of heavy on all fronts. If it wasn’t for these remixes, I would have never dove head first into the world of heavy bass music.