Constantly learning and constantly growing, Sean Thompson aka ttwwrrss (pronounced “towers”) has developed his own brand of experimental/industrial hip-hop. And no, it’s not the kind of zany, experimental sound reminiscent of dropping a tuning fork in a deep, dark cave straight out of a sci-fi flick. This unassuming yet highly creative musician produces the type of beats that belong on the set of an action movie—more specifically, in a twisted world on the brink of armageddon.
With the release of his third self-titled album ttwwrrss_3, the young producer loses the synth-heavy, purely electronic sound he’s been known for and reaches for more organic, instrumental samples alongside his hard-hitting drum beats. A new sound, for sure, but you can still expect to catch his dark, melodramatic vibe through all the skin-crawling tension woven into his new tracks—and this young ‘un still remembers how to keep it real.
Born in Mississauga and raised in the post-industrial steeltown of Hamilton, Thompson has been loyal to his neighborhood club scene despite his 2015 college radio chart-topping success with his previous album, ttwwrrss_2. He pays tribute to his homegrown fans with new tracks like the electronic/post-rock ballad “YHM” (the three-letter airport code for Hamilton).
But really, it’s the gritty, pounding rhythm and dark synth melody of tracks like “System Overload” that’ll get your heart pumping. The track pays homage to some of the unique sounds born out of the San Francisco Bay Area hip-hop movement (get hyphy, y’all). You’ll find yourself bouncin’ in the club as your ears try to keep up with this wunderkind’s scintillating play on different octaves.
“Had2Buy” stands out as the new party anthem—urgent, compulsive, and addictive, the Skrillex-influenced track uses EDM-style trap, rising buildup and drop synths to produce a mashup of different styles topped with a vocal sample that speaks out as a commentary on consumerism.
“What Is This Exactly?” is distinctly influenced by industrial rock while still using the artist’s signature trap drums and 808s. The track showcases a medley of distorted guitar sounds and synths inspired by Nine Inch Nails, which Thompson has frequently admitted as being a major inspiration in his musical career.
Simultaneously ominous and hypnotic, ttwwrrss_3 is bound to hit the sweet spot for old and new fans alike. The album features ttwwrrss’ now-familiar plays on timing and reverb, while simultaneously incorporating more complex chord progressions, less loop-driven and more theatrical orchestration, and a crisp, cleaned up drum sound compared to his previous records.
This new album is out of this world, but it doesn’t require a spaceship to get there. Trust ttwwrrss to change your perception of experimental beats. You’ll be hooked at first kick.