Dreamcrusher ‘Hackers All Of Them Hackers’ EP Review

"Nihilist Queer Revolt Musik" blurs the lines between dance music and harsh noise.

Dreamcrusher (aka Drencrome/Luwayne Glass) is a young and prolific electronic noise artist hailing from Wichita, Kansas but now officially relocated to, and operating out of, Brooklyn, New York. Don’t let the “noise” tag intimidate you (as it reasonably should). “Noise” could mean a lot of things, from experimental rock music to avant-garde tone-painting and formless, ear-splitting chaos. In the case of Dreamcrusher, who labels their sound as “Nihilist Queer Revolt Musik”, the noise comes in the form of monstrously compressed samples and tones unleashed in groovy riffs and loops over amp-crushing drum beats, a chimeric blend of EDM, house, raw noise, and grimey hardcore aesthetics.

Glass, 26, identifies as queer and gender non-binary, and is also a straight edge-vegan, though these points don’t come up often in the sparse lyrics, which are primarily delivered through heavily distorted shouts. The music’s content isn’t as patently political as it’s source and context, with Glass, a queer person of color playing deeply rhythmic licks in a scene infected by pseudo-fascist extremity and snobbish egos. Dreamcrusher began as a MySpace project for the small-town queercore kid influenced by Autechere, HEALTH, and early Crystal Castles. In the mid-to-late 2000s, Glass began sporadically releasing tracks and through word of mouth and an effective internet presence, became slowly recognized among noise circles.

After some successful crowdfunding and networking, Dreamcrusher was able to be taken on the road for a northeastern tour which turned into a permanent stay in Brooklyn. In the time since the move, Dreamcrusher produced a few notable EPs in the past year and a half, Incinerator, Haine and Katatonia, most released after a one-take performance with little-to-no post-production touch-ups. With each release, the tracks seem to become more “deconstructed”, the noise gets harsher, more sinister and heavier, a trend that continues as Glass unleashes darker and dirtier tones on their latest EP, Hackers All Of Them Hackers, released through Fire Talk Records on October 30th.

Noise often feels like it’s “pointed” at the audience like a weapon, which is usually intentional on the artists’ part, and Dreamcrusher achieves that on this album without losing it’s appeal. Rather than oppress the listener, the noise empowers them, enticing more aggressive dancing, headbanging, and even outright moshing (but like, sexy moshing). There is a similar appeal I get out of listening to a clever sample-flip on a hip hop beat in the way that I appreciate the raw, digital sludge that Dreamcrusher manages to warp into crude and savage dance songs that make the listener want to stomp their feet through the floorboards.

“Fear (And No Feeling)” begins the EP with hair-raising harsh noise that begins to cycle, sounding like a field-recording of a subway train trudging through a tunnel at a mechanical pace before a lung-collapsing beat drop instantly contextualizes the chaos, funneling it all into the dance floor. The following track “Adore” reminds me of the first time I ever heard Death Grips and actually understood what I was hearing. Glass has a grand talent for ordering the barbaric noise before unleashing it upon the listener, and it continues to drive me to push the limits on my ear drums’ endurance with each repeat.

It’s difficult to find artists who are able to push extreme experimental and emotional boundaries without losing the site of what makes music an enjoyable, and for lack of a less-honest word, “fun” experience, and luckily, Dreamcrusher belongs firmly in that category, regardless of genre or accessibility.

Emory Lorde

Emory is a RVA-based writer, hard femme, and heavily-tattooed queer who’s always on the look out for a house show where she might crash the mosh pit and discover her next favorite band. When she’s not over-analyzing pop culture, you can find Emory with her head in the clouds, brain-storming her next creative endeavor, or just staring blankly into space.